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March 1955

Psychic Functioning in Patients with Undiagnosed Somatic Symptoms: Clinical Evaluation

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Neurological Institute, Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(3):329-337. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330090075010

I. THE PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION: A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL  The psychiatric consultant on a neurological service is frequently called upon to aid in establishing the diagnosis of somatic symptoms when, after thorough study, the nature of the illness remains unclear. Perhaps the symptoms are related to psychopathology. The undiagnosed somatic symptoms may be of any type, including defects of motor and sensory functioning, involuntary movements, syndromes similar to those seen with brain tumors, states of disordered mental functioning akin to those occurring with epilepsy and narcolepsy, and various "atypical" or "bizarre" disturbances.Psychiatric examination also is requested occasionally when a patient with an existing neurological or psychiatric illness develops new somatic symptoms or, after a period of stability, suffers from a progression of symptoms. The cause of the clinical change may be a newly developing illness, rather than a progression of the old illness.

A. Some Methods of Psychiatric Investigation.  —Several methods,

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