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Thomas W. Heinrich, MD

Thomas W. Heinrich, MD

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Hypothyroidism is a common clinical disorder that psychiatrists frequently encounter. However, symptoms of thyroid dysfunction are often vague and nonspecific, which can lead to delayed or missed diagnosis.

Delirium is a disorder that lies at the interface of psychiatry and medicine. It is an acute organic syndrome caused by an underlying medical condition and is defined clinically by disturbances in cognitive function, attention, and level of consciousness.1 Delirium is considered a syndrome because of the constellation of signs and symptoms associated with the disorder, coupled with a wide variety of potential etiologies.

The following case histories illustrate some of the clinical aspects of delirium that were described in the preceding article. Each case is followed by a discussion of the diagnosis, identification of the etiology, and subsequent treatment of an episode of delirium.

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