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Case report
Subtle neuropsychiatric symptoms of glioblastoma multiforme misdiagnosed as depression
  1. Raphael Jerome Leo,
  2. Jill N Frodey and
  3. Matthew L Ruggieri
  1. Department of Psychiatry, SUNY at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raphael Jerome Leo; rleo{at}


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common of the aggressive primary brain tumours arising in adults and has a dire prognosis. Neuropsychiatric symptoms can vary significantly among afflicted persons; psychiatric disturbances may be the predominant presenting symptoms. Distinguishing between functional psychiatric disorders, particularly depression, from other subtle neuropsychiatric disturbances that may accompany GBM can be challenging. The authors present a clinical case and review of the literature in an attempt to highlight the special considerations that should be taken into account when evaluating patients who present with late-onset or atypical symptoms, refractory psychiatric symptoms, or subtle neurological disturbances signalling the need for diagnostic assessment, particularly neuroimaging, for the presence of a tumour. Early diagnosis is critical for improvement in quality of life.

  • Central Nervous System cancer
  • psychiatry
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  • Contributors The authors have contributed substantially to the following (the initials of the authors are designated for each of the following roles). Case summary and presentation, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and final approval of the version submitted: RJL, JNF, MLR; acquisition and review of the literature, compilation of the data summary and table as well as interpretation of data: RJL, JNF.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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