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Psycho-organic syndrome can be a variety of mental disorders that have an organic cause - this means that it may appear when there is some damage to the structures of the central nervous system. Read on for what the symptoms and causes are, and how to treat Organic Psycho Syndrome!


  1. Organic Psycho Syndrome: Causes
  2. Psycho-organic syndrome: symptoms
  3. Psycho-organic syndrome: diagnosis
  4. Psycho-organic syndrome: treatment

Psychoorganic syndrome can occur in people of any age, but it is most common in elderly patients. It's hard to give the exact frequency of its occurrence - the truth is that in many patients with this problem, the correct diagnosis is not made.

The causes of mental disorders and diseases are believed to be in various phenomena. The biological approach plays an increasingly important role in modern medicine, i.e. one where the etiology of psychiatric problems can be explained by the occurrence of specific phenomena - as an example, there are observations that abnormal levels of neurotransmitters in the nervous system may be the causes of mood disorders or disorders in humans. psychotic. One problem, however, in which the relationship between abnormalities of an organic nature and deviations from a normal mental state is clearly visible is the psychoorganic syndrome.

Organic Psycho Syndrome: Causes

The root cause of the psycho-organic syndrome is brain damage. The problem may appear, among others due to the general atrophy of the brain (its atrophy), which occurs with age, but it can also be caused by the atrophy of specific regions of the brain (e.g. the frontal or temporal lobe). Other possible causes of psycho-organic syndromes include:

  • stroke
  • central nervous system infections (both bacterial and viral)
  • brain tumors (benign and malignant)
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • poisoning with toxic substances (such as toluene)
  • chronic abuse of psychoactive substances (incl.alcohol or drugs)
  • head injuries (especially extensive)
  • iatrogenic damage (resulting from surgery, e.g. in the field of neurosurgery)

Psycho-organic syndrome: symptoms

There is no single, strict symptom pattern that is characteristic of psycho-organic syndromes. In fact, in the course of these pathologies, a variety of deviations can occur. Dementia disorders are quite common - in this case, depending on the cause, the patient may have symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and may include progressive memory impairment and general significant deterioration of the patient's functioning.

It is possible to develop depressive disorders related to low mood, anhedonia and the feeling of constant fatigue. Occasionally, the symptoms of the organo-psycho syndrome include disorders of auto and allopsychic orientation, abnormalities in sleep-wake rhythm, emotional lability or a tendency to irritability.

In the course of an individual, there may be a feeling of an exceptional degree of fatigue or a significant decrease in intellectual abilities, but it is also possible for the occurrence of various types of anxiety disorders, and even psychotic symptoms in the form of delusions or hallucinations (hallucinations).

Psycho-organic syndrome: diagnosis

It is certainly not easy to make a diagnosis of ORS. The main reason for this is that it does not have a characteristic picture and in a patient with a markedly depressed mood and other symptoms suggesting depression, depressive disorders may be diagnosed, and in a person who experiences cognitive disorders and memory disorders, it may be diagnosed dementia disorders.

Correct diagnosis in the case of the psycho-organic syndrome is extremely important because - at least in some of its cases - removing the causes that led to it may result in the resolution or at least alleviation of the symptoms associated with it.

Patients who develop psychopathological symptoms undergo initial psychiatric examination. However, on its basis, it is not possible to identify the psycho-organic syndrome - for this it is necessary to conduct completely different research.

We are talking here, for example, about imaging tests (such as, for example, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the head), electroencephalography (EEG) or lumbar puncture (obtaining cerebrospinal fluid from a diseased patient allows, for example, confirmation or exclusion ofneuroinfections as the causes of mental disorders).

It is also important to obtain - from the patient or his immediate environment - information about whether he has taken any psychoactive substances. However, one more, not mentioned, aspect should be emphasized here: the suspicion of the psycho-organic syndrome should be raised especially when mental disorders suddenly appear in a person who previously did not show any abnormalities of this type.

Basically, the association of mental disorders with some organic damage to the central nervous system is essential for a diagnosis of the psycho-organic syndrome.

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Psycho-organic syndrome: treatment

In the case of the psycho-organic syndrome, treatment should be carried out in two ways: patients may be given drugs that will have an impact on the ailments they experience (e.g. antidepressants in people with symptoms of this type of mood disorder), but they should also be treated directly to the cause of the problem. It is the most important element of the management of patients with psychoorganic syndrome - it happens that when its cause is eliminated, it alone leads to the resolution of symptoms.

As an example, a psychoorganic syndrome associated with the development of an intracranial tumor in the patient - even if, in connection with this disease, the patient develops a serious type of mental disorder, such as delusions and hallucinations, successful surgery removing such a change may result in the complete disappearance of these symptoms.

Sometimes, however, even with the implementation of the appropriate treatment, it is not possible to achieve the expected results - this is the case, for example, in people who have had irreversible brain damage caused to the psycho-organic syndrome, which may be caused, for example, by a head injury or a stroke. In such cases, the most important thing is to conduct appropriate symptomatic treatment.

About the authorBow. Tomasz NęckiA graduate of medicine at the Medical University of Poznań. An admirer of the Polish sea (most willingly strolling along its shores with headphones in his ears), cats and books. In working with patients, he focuses on always listening to them and spending as much time as they need.

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