BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.03.2012.6147
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Ironing out the rough spots – cognitive impairment in haemochromatosis

  1. Lorna A Torrens2
  1. 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Pain Management, Department of Clinical Psychology, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Shona Brown, shonabrown2{at}


A man in his late 40s, referred by his general practitioner (GP) to a psychology-led pain management programme, made a subjective and spontaneous report of cognitive impairment. He further mentioned a ten year history of erectile dysfunction, joint pain, occasional nausea and excessive fatigue. He underwent cognitive assessment. Advised to return to his GP to seek further investigation, he was ultimately subsequently diagnosed with haemochromatosis and began radical therapeutic venesection. Repeat cognitive assessment, a year later and following stabilisation of the condition, found improvement on some cognitive measures. Subjective report was of vastly improved cognitive function.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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