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December 15, 1951

ORGANIC NEUROLOGICAL SYNDROMES DIAGNOSED AS FUNCTIONAL DISORDERS

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn; New York

From the Mental Hygiene Unit, Brooklyn Regional Office, Veterans Administration.

JAMA. 1951;147(16):1519-1521. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670330011004
Abstract

It is generally recognized that functional components may be present wherever there is organic disease, neurological or otherwise. Such functional material can at times dominate the picture to such a degree that it is possible for the physician to overlook otherwise significant signs of physical disease. This paper is not intended as a criticism of diagnostic failure. It is rather a plea for a closer working relationship between psychiatry and neurology. We hope to highlight the need for viewing the patient as a whole, interrelating physical and psychiatric problems. Limited investigation is inadequate insurance when dealing with patients. The importance of multiple examinations as well as reasonable competence in neurology must be stressed.

Over a period of several years our experience has been to note that a fair number of alleged psychiatric cases are ultimately diagnosed as neurological. We feel that there have been enough such instances to warrant a

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