CT brain was unremarkable but MRI could not be tolerated because of claustrophobia. NM Brain HMPAO (Ceretec) scan suggested ‘ill-defined defects of tracer uptake scattered throughout both cerebral hemispheres, particularly in the click here periventricular regions’ as is consistent with cerebrovascular disease (these findings are not considered abnormal in a man of this age with diabetes and neither the radiologist’s report or the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination on recovery suggested that the
scan was significant). Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination scored 67/100 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (attentional and orientation 15/18, memory 12/26, fluency 9/14, language Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical 23/26, visuospatial 8/16). The patient tried, but could not draw the overlapping pentagons, wire cube or clock face components of this cognitive examination. Serum lithium level was 0.44 mmol/l (therapeutic range 0.4–1.0 mmol/l). In light of a case report on lithium and amitriptyline (tricyclic antidepressant) causing constructional dyspraxia [Worrall and Gillham, 1983], the clomipramine (tricyclic antidepressant) was gradually withdrawn. One month later, the patient said he ‘was back to his usual self’
with Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination 90/100 (scattered Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical deficits, visuospatial 14/16). One year later, the presentation and Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination score remain stable. Comment This report describes delirium with prominent dyspraxia occurring at low-therapeutic serum lithium levels on the coprescription of clomipramine. This could have been a delirious side effect
of clomipramine in a susceptible individual but the severity of the dyspraxia was unusual. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical The cognitive impairments resolved when clomipramine was stopped but lithium continued. A report describing constructional dyspraxia on lithium and amitriptyline incriminated the lithium but acknowledged that the tricyclic antidepressant and lithium combination Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical could have been causal [Worrall and Gillham, 1983]. Hence, in addition to the recognized long-term cognitive effects of lithium and reports of acute confusional states emerging unless in patients previously established on lithium [Niethammer et al. 2000], this report suggests that a confusional state with prominent dyspraxia could be associated with the combined use of tricyclic antidepressants and lithium. Footnotes Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest in preparing this article. Contributor Information David Hayward, Community Mental Health Team 8 St Leonards Bank, Perth, UK. Barrat Luft, Community Mental Health Team 8 St Leonards Bank, Perth, UK.