Pitfalls in clinical assessment of neurotoxic diseases: negative effects of repeated diagnostic evaluation, illustrated by a clinical case

Moniek van Hout, Gerard Hageman, Evelien van Valen

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Abstract

Exposure to different toxic substances can have acute and chronic neurological and neuropsychiatric health effects on humans. Patients often report impaired concentration and memory, irritability, fatigue, instability of affect and difficulties in impulse control. The diagnostic process for neurotoxic diseases is complex and relies heavily on the exclusion of differential diagnosis and substantiating the cognitive complaints by neuropsychological assessment. Diagnostic evaluations have the purpose to help the patient by finding an explanation for the symptoms to guide treatment strategy or prevent further deterioration. But what if the diagnostic process in itself leads to problems that can be quite persistent and difficult to manage? The iatrogenic, or sick-making, side effects of the diagnostic process are the main focus of this case study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
JournalNeurotoxicology
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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