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August 1982

Psychometric Assessment in Absence Status

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (Dr Nightingale), and Regional Neurological Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (Dr Welch).

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(8):516-519. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510200058013

• A 66-year-old woman had a ten-year history of attacks of absence status lasting two days. The clinical and psychometric manifestations of absence status in this patient were identical to those found in dementia. Unless a history of fluctuation in the behavioral disturbance is obtained, such a case of absence status may be misdiagnosed as dementia. The results of the longitudinal assessment indicated that the patient suffered more frequent episodes of cognitive impairment than she realized and that such deficits lasted longer than was initially believed.

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