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August 1991

Characterizing Organic Delusional Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(8):749-753. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810320073011

• We present a first comprehensive description of the clinical features of patients with organic delusional syndrome. This description is based on information from 39 patients with organic delusional syndrome among 14 889 patients who presented for initial evaluation over a 5-year period at our institution. This description includes an enumeration of the common clinical symptoms of this syndrome and the respective prevalence and mean severity of each symptom. The severity of the symptoms of organic delusional syndrome are compared with those of schizophrenia to determine which symptoms distinguish between these two diagnostic categories. Patients with organic delusional syndrome demonstrated significantly more symptoms of "acquired intellectual impairment," "impaired sensorium," and "hallucinations of smell, taste, or touch," while schizophrenic patients demonstrated more "flat affect," "emotional coldness," and "thought disorganization." In addition, associated factors are presented concerning demographics, modes of treatment, level of functioning, and current physical problems associated with organic delusional syndrome.