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Logo of bmjcrInstructions for authorsCurrent ToCBMJ Case Reports
BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr0820092166.
Published online Sep 10, 2010. doi:  10.1136/bcr.08.2009.2166
PMCID: PMC3029293
Learning from errors
Onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms after psychological trauma may result in erroneous diagnostic bias
Mika Hakala,1,2 Juha Rinne,2 and Hasse Karlsson2,3
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Correspondence to Hasse Karlsson, hasse.karlsson/at/
We report a case of neuroacanthocytosis, which was misdiagnosed as conversion disorder. Because the onset was after a psychologically stressful physical trauma, the patient's symptoms were interpreted in terms of psychological regression. The case clearly points out the defects of descriptive psychiatric diagnosis, especially in the area of somatoformal disorders. It also reminds the clinicians to keep in mind rare neurological disorders as possible causes for psychiatric symptoms.
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