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November 12, 1982

Mind or Body: Distinguishing Psychological From Organic Disorders

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois at the Medical Center Chicago

JAMA. 1982;248(18):2348. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180094054

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This book addresses one of the most perplexing and critical areas in the general practice of medicine—the clarification of symptoms that seem to be psychological in nature but are in fact manifestations of organic disease. Designed to be a practical guide to the clinical recognition of organic mental disorders, the author promises to equip the reader with skills in "critical assessment" that should reduce errors in diagnosis and ensure good medical care.

Critical assessment includes the recognition of brain syndromes, presumptive clinical evidence, as well as clues that alert the clinician to the possibility of organic disorder—childhood disturbances, aging, long-term drug use—and the conditions that most frequently masquerade as psychological symptoms—brain tumors, epilepsy, and endocrine disorders. Included also are case histories, some unduly dramatic, all gleaned from the literature, designed to serve as a self-testing and teaching device.

This is a well-written book—up to date, factual, and well referenced. Particularly