Auxiliary examination methods: biochemical and toxicological tests, imaging methods, electroencephalography, and phalopletysmography

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Biochemical and toxicological tests[edit | edit source]

  • urinary tox screen for drugs (psychosis can be caused by drugs, think LSD), metabolites of neurotransmitters
  • CBC: Anemia (DDx depression), for individual drugs (drug levels: e.g. lithium -> therapeutic vs toxic effects), indirectly alcohol consumption (MCV, vitamins)
  • LFTs: GGT, ALT, AST (e.g. hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Thyroid function tests: DDx Dementia, depression, sexual dysfunction

Imaging methods[edit | edit source]

  • CT, MRI, PET, SPECT → very important to identify and differentiate from neurologic/somatic etiology (think of stroke, tumor...)
  • Example: Everyone with the first diagnosis of Alzheimer disease should get at least one imaging of the brain to rule out secondary causes...
  • Functional imaging such as fMRI are still things reserved mainly for research purposes and don´t have a place (yet) in routine medicine

Electroencephalography[edit | edit source]

  • e.g. encephalitis, schizophrenia, ECT, delirium, CJD, absence seizures, sleep disorder, narcolepsy

Phalopletysmography[edit | edit source]

  • controversial instrument → since 2010 CR only state in the EU that does it
  • Freund in 1950 Czechoslovakia
  • auxillary method for diagnosis of paraphilia (?)