Hallucinations from malaria
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dakar Med. 2002;47(2):122-7. [Mental disorders in cerebral malaria]. [Article in French] Thiam MH, Diop BM, Dieng Y, Guèye M. Service de Psychiatrie, CHU de Fann, Dakar (Sénégal). firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychiatric manifestations of cerebral malaria have been described for a while. The purpose of this study was conducted to describe this type of clinical manifestations of malaria among inpatients admitted at the psychiatric department in Dakar, Senegal from 1998 to 1999 (2 years) based on personnal observations.
During this period. 1 male and 3 females, 13 to 22 years old, presented psychiatric disorders represented by mental confusion, delirium syndrom with zoopsia, visual hallucinations, motor agitation associated to other malarial clinical features: fever, headache, shiver, sweating and belious vomiting.
All the patients were smear blood positive to Plasmodium falciparum with a parasiteamia between 2524 to 61500 parasites per ml. No psychiatric history was noted among them.
Antimalarial treatment was used associated either with neuroleptic or tranquilliser. All of them recovered after 12 to 31 days of hospitalization (mean lengh of slay = 20 days). Psychotropic treatment was stopped after 15 days and no relapse was observed after 1 year of follow-up.
The autors focus on the importance of psychiatric manifestations of cerebral malaria especially in endemic area like Senegal. They also insist on the possiblities of misdiagnosis and though a delay for an early and effective management.