The fields of neurology and psychiatry have an undeniably common origin. This relationship has been historically recognized by Freud who believed that the brain is the seat of psychopathology. The overlap between these disciplines is especially evident in the realm of behavioral neurology, which does not segregate various domains of the brain, but integrates physical and mental factors for a holistic approach. With the advancements in neuroscience, a heightened need for collaboration between the two disciplines has evolved. In this issue of Psychiatric Annals, we have embarked on a journey into the realm of neuropsychiatry, as it is fairly common for psychiatrist in practice to face clinically overlapping presentations of undiagnosed neurological disorders.
The Feature article, “Neuropsychological Disorders Across the Lifespan: Overview and Implications” by Dr. David E. Tupper describes the implications of neuropsychological disorders spread across the life cycle. Through illustrative cases, the article explores important issues, concepts, and processes involved a longitudinal approach to understanding and managing neurobehavioral disorders throughout the lifecycle.
The first article, “Sleep Disorders and Dementia: From Basic Mechanisms to Clinical Decisions,” by Dr. Elissaios Karageorgiou and colleagues highlights the bidirectional relationship between sleep issues and dementia. The authors focus on early detection of sleep disorders and intervention in clinical practice to demonstrate the progression of both processes.
Next, the article “Delirium Versus Dementia: A Diagnostic Conundrum in Clinical Practice” by Dr. Ranji Varghese and myself explores the quintessential diagnostic quandary in clinical practice—the epidemiology, predisposing and precipitating factors, clinical characteristics, and diagnosis and management of the patient are reviewed to assist in clinical decision-making.
The third article, “Management of Psychiatric Features in Frontotemporal Dementia,” by Drs. Jamie Starks and Michael Rosenbloom discusses the presentation and management of psychiatric symptoms encountered in frontotemporal dementia. Not only are the clinical phenotypes of the neurodegenerative process elaborated upon, but also various pharmacological and nonpharmacological strategies addressing common neuropsychiatric symptoms observed in the spectrum are discussed.
Next, the article “Psychiatric Disease in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” by Drs. Samuel Maiser and Ezgi Tiryaki focuses on unrecognized mental illnesses, which can significantly impact the quality of life of both the patient and caregiver.
The final article, “Psychiatric Management of Huntington's Disease,” by Dr. Martha A. Nance is an apt example of the intersection between brain and behavioral pathology, thus requiring clinical acumen for detection and addressing these concerns.