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Psychiatric symptoms are frequent in idiopathic intracranial hypertension patients


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a rare disease with an incidence rate of 0.5–2.0/100,000/year. Characteristic symptoms are headache and several degrees of visual impairment. Psychiatric symptoms in association with IIH are usually poorly described and underestimated. In this study, we evaluated IIH subjects to determine the association with psychiatric symptoms. We evaluated thirty consecutive patients with IIH submitted to neurosurgery from January 2017 to January 2020 in two Brazilian tertiary hospitals. They underwent clinical evaluation, obtaining medical history, comorbidities, body mass index (BMI—kg/m2), and applying Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q). There were 28 females and 2 males. Ages ranged from 18 to 66 years old, with mean age of 37.97 ± 12.78. Twenty-five (83%) presented comorbidities, being obese and having arterial hypertension the most frequent. Body mass index ranged from 25 to 35 kg/m2 and mean value was 31 ± 3.42. After application of Neuropsychiatric Interview, 26 of 30 presented psychiatric symptoms (86%). Depression-anxiety syndromes were reported in 25 patients (83%). Nighttime disturbances were reported by 14 subjects (46%). Appetite and eating disorders were described by 23 (76%). Psychiatric symptoms in association with IIH are usually poorly described and underestimated. In our sample, twenty-six out of 30 (86%) reported psychiatric symptoms. We highlight the high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms among IIH patients and the need of managing these patients with a multidisciplinary team, including psychiatrists.

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Correspondence to Matheus Fernandes de Oliveira.

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de Oliveira, M.F., Yamashita, R.H.G., Boa Sorte, A.A. et al. Psychiatric symptoms are frequent in idiopathic intracranial hypertension patients. Neurosurg Rev 44, 1183–1189 (2021).

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  • Intracranial idiopathic hypertension
  • Psychiatry
  • Symptoms
  • Neurosurgery