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May 5, 1962

Abnormal Behavior Following Parathyroidectomy

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Roswell Park Memorial Institute.

JAMA. 1962;180(5):372-375. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050180018005

Severe personality aberration is a relatively rare postoperative complication of excision of parathyroid adenoma. Seven cases reported in the literature are briefly reviewed, and one new case is discussed. The personality disturbances were associated with characteristic changes of the electroencephalogram. The causes for these personality changes are not known, but factors which may be interrelated are simultaneous variations of spinal fluid pressure, spinal fluid calcium, and serum calcium. Not many years ago these symptoms heralded an ominous prognosis. Now this complication can be avoided or modified with prompt and adequate therapy.