A Case of Delusional Parasitosis in a 58-year-old Woman

Taral R. Sharma, MD, MBA
Clinical Instructor, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC; Staff Psychiatrist, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Anderson, SC

Michal C. Cieraszynski, DO
Staff Psychiatrist, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Salem, Va.

First published in Primary Psychiatry | October 30, 2013.

Case description

“Ms. A” is a 58 year-old white, divorced, unemployed female, with past psychiatric history of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder NOS, who presented to emergency department (ED) with complaints of "lice and bugs" crawling from her skin and rectum for several weeks. Read >

Michael Eriksen Benros, MD, PhD

National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University; Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark

First published in Psychiatry Weekly, September 2013, 8(18).

Introduction

The human body’s inflammatory reaction to infection has for some time been understood as a possible etiological risk factor for the development of some psychiatric disorders. It is not, however, a well-understood risk factor. Animal studies have indicated that inflammation and brain-reactive antibodies can induce neuropsychiatric symptoms. Whether this can be generalized to humans is still debatable, since similar randomized studies in humans are nearly impossible to conduct due to ethical reasons. However, using Danish national health registries, Dr. Michael Eriksen Benros and colleagues recently published the first large scale, population-based study examining the extent to which inflammation and subsequent mood disorders are related.

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