Which infectious diseases should be included in the differential diagnoses of schizophrenia?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Many infectious illnesses, such as influenza, Lyme disease, hepatitis C, and any of the encephalitides (particularly those caused by the herpesviruses), can cause mental status changes such as depression, anxiety, irritability, or psychosis. Elderly people with pneumonias or urinary tract infections may become confused or frankly psychotic.

The infectious illnesses of particular interest are the following:

  • Neurosyphilis

  • HIV infection

  • Cerebral abscess

  • Chronic Lyme disease

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)


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