About organic personality syndrome

What is organic personality syndrome?

Organic personality syndrome or organic mental syndrome is a mental disorder characterized by a short-term or long-term personality disturbance largely due to brain dysfunction. The ability to reason, remember, imagine, and learn may not be affected, but the individual's judgment may be so poor that continual supervision may be necessary. Left unattended, he or she may behave in ways that could cause difficult or dangerous problems.

What are the symptoms for organic personality syndrome?

The symptoms of neurocognitive disorders can vary depending on the cause. When the condition occurs as a result of neurodegenerative disease, people may experience:

  • memory loss
  • confusion
  • anxiety

Other symptoms that may occur in people with neurocognitive disorders include:

  • headaches, especially in those with a concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • inability to concentrate or focus
  • short-term memory loss
  • trouble performing routine tasks, such as driving
  • difficulty walking and balancing
  • changes in vision

What are the causes for organic personality syndrome?

The most common cause of neurocognitive disorders is a neurodegenerative disease. Neurodegenerative diseases that can lead to the development of neurocognitive disorders include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • dementia
  • prion disease
  • multiple sclerosis

In people under age 60, however, neurocognitive disorders are more likely to occur after an injury or infection. Nondegenerative conditions that may cause neurocognitive disorders include:

  • a concussion
  • traumatic brain injury that causes bleeding in the brain or space around the brain
  • blood clots
  • meningitis
  • encephalitis
  • septicemia
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • vitamin deficiency

What are the treatments for organic personality syndrome?

Treatment for neurocognitive disorders varies depending on the underlying cause. Certain conditions may only require rest and medication. Neurodegenerative diseases may require different types of therapy.

Treatments for neurocognitive disorders may include:

  • bed rest to give injuries time to heal
  • pain medications, such as indomethacin, to relieve headaches
  • antibiotics to clear remaining infections affecting the brain, such as meningitis
  • surgery to repair any severe brain damage
  • occupational therapy to help redevelop everyday skills
  • physical therapy to improve strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility

What are the risk factors for organic personality syndrome?

Your risk of developing neurocognitive disorders partly depends on your lifestyle and daily habits. Working in an environment with exposure to heavy metals can greatly increase your risk for neurocognitive disorders. Heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, can damage the nervous system over time. This means that frequent exposure to these metals puts you at an increased risk for decreased mental function.

You’re also more likely to develop neurocognitive disorders if you:

  • are over age 60
  • have a cardiovascular disorder
  • have diabetes
  • abuse alcohol or drugs
  • participate in sports with a high risk of head trauma, such as football and rugby

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