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Little is known about the cause and psychopathology of delirious mania, a type of disorder where delirium and mania occur at the same time. This condition still has no formal diagnostic classification. To provide more information about this potentially life-threatening condition, we studied five patients with delirious mania.
We describe the cases of five patients with delirious mania admitted to an acute inpatient psychiatric unit between January 2005 and January 2007, and discuss the cases in the context of a selective review of the clinical literature describing the clinical features and treatment of delirious mania.
Two patients had two episodes of delirious mania. Delirium usually resolved faster than mania though not always the case. Delirious mania remitted within seven sessions of the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Delirious mania is a potentially life-threatening but under-recognized neuropsychiatric syndrome. Delirious mania that is ineffectively treated may induce a new-onset manic episode or worsen an ongoing manic episode, and the patient will need prolonged hospitalization. Delirious mania also has a close relationship with catatonia. Early recognition and aggressive treatment, especially with electroconvulsive therapy, can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality.