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Phantosmia and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in a patient with burning mouth syndrome suffering from severe depression
  1. Nicola Grignoli1,2,
  2. Alberto La Spina1,2 and
  3. Luca Gabutti2
  1. 1Servizio Psico-Sociale, Organizzazione Sociopsichiatrica Cantonale, Repubblica e Cantone Ticino, Mendrisio, Ticino, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Regional Hospital of Bellinzona and Valleys, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicola Grignoli; nicola.grignoli{at}


Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a rare but serious medical condition with important psychiatric comorbidity and specific psychological correlates. Psychopathology related with BMS represents a real challenge for clinical decision-making. In this case, depression is the leading psychiatric diagnosis associated with patient’s BMS somatic pain and is driven by anxiety and a dissociative functioning. Facing a complex psychosomatic symptomatology, we offer new clinical perspectives for the screening of psychological traits of BMS. Moreover, we highlight the need to foster interdisciplinarity to improve differential diagnosis and defining an optimal care path. This case report stimulates a reflection on management challenges for the consultation–liaison psychiatry and shows the importance of a person-centred approach when communicating the diagnosis.

  • Ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • Pain (neurology)
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Psychotherapy
  • General practice / family medicine

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  • Contributors All authors conceived the case report. NG wrote the literature review. NG and ALS wrote the case report and the discussion. LG substantively revised the manuscript.

  • 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.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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