Infectious Disorders

  • James W. Jefferson
  • John R. Marshall
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


The number of organisms that can affect the central nervous system to produce mental or behavioral changes is legion. Virtually any infection may alter brain functioning, either by direct invasion, secondary systemic effects, or postinfection allergic responses. The result may be vague neuropsychiatric disturbances, or the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder associated with infection, delirium. In general, mental status changes produced by infection are nonspecific and have no direct relationship to the specific organism involved. Neuropsychiatric changes may be noted in response to a wide variety of bacterial, viral, mycotic, spirochetal, rickettsial, and protozoal infections. Although syphilis, malaria, and tuberculosis were once prominent offenders, viral infections are probably most common at the present time. Certain infectious diseases that merit special attention because psychiatric features may be marked are discussed below. (See Hepatic section for infectious hepatitis.)


Infectious Mononucleosis Viral Encephalitis Mental Status Change Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Infectious Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Jefferson
    • 1
  • John R. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin Medical SchoolMadisonUSA

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