Intoxication

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Intoxication is the state of being affected by one or more psychoactive drugs. It can also refer to the effects caused by the ingestion of poison or by the overconsumption of normally harmless substances.

Some types of intoxication:

Intoxication can cause a state of mind that remains once the person is no longer intoxicated that can be used as a legal defense:

Drug intoxication must be differentiated from other causes of headache,seizures and loss of consciousness.

Diseases Symptoms Physical Examination Past medical history Diagnostic tests Other Findings
Headache LOC Motor weakness Abnormal sensory Motor Deficit Sensory deficit Speech difficulty Gait abnormality Cranial nerves CT /MRI CSF Findings Gold standard test
Meningitis + - - - - + + - - History of fever and malaise - Leukocytes,

Protein

↓ Glucose

CSF analysis[1] Fever, neck

rigidity

Encephalitis + + +/- +/- - - + +/- + History of fever and malaise + Leukocytes, ↓ Glucose CSF PCR Fever, seizures, focal neurologic abnormalities
Brain tumor[2] + - - - + + + - + Weight loss, fatigue + Cancer cells[3] MRI Cachexia, gradual progression of symptoms
Hemorrhagic stroke + + + + + + + + - Hypertension + - CT scan without contrast[4][5] Neck stiffness
Subdural hemorrhage + + + + + - - - + Trauma, fall + Xanthochromia[6] CT scan without contrast[4][5] Confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting
Neurosyphilis[7][8] + - + + + + - + - STIs + Leukocytes and protein CSF VDRL-specifc

CSF FTA-Ab -sensitive[9]

Blindness, confusion, depression,

Abnormal gait

Complex or atypical migraine + - + + - - + - - Family history of migraine - - Clinical assesment Presence of aura, nausea, vomiting
Hypertensive encephalopathy + + - - - - + + - Hypertension + - Clinical assesment Delirium, cortical blindness, cerebral edema, seizure
Wernicke’s encephalopathy - + - - - + + + + History of alcohal abuse - - Clinical assesment and lab findings Ophthalmoplegia, confusion
CNS abscess + + - - + + + - - History of drug abuse, endocarditis, immunosupression + leukocytes, glucose and protien MRI is more sensitive and specific High grade fever, fatigue,nausea, vomiting
Drug toxicity - + - + + + - + - - - - Drug screen test Lithium, Sedatives, phenytoin, carbamazepine
Conversion disorder + + + + + + + + History of emotional stress - - Diagnosis of exclusion Tremors, blindness, difficulty swallowing
Metabolic disturbances (electrolyte imbalance, hypoglycemia) - + + + + + - - + - - Hypoglycemia, hypo and hypernatremia, hypo and hyperkalemia Depends on the cause Confusion, seizure, palpitations, sweating, dizziness, hypoglycemia
Multiple sclerosis exacerbation - - + + - + + + + History of relapses and remissions + CSF IgG levels

(monoclonal bands)

Clinical assesment and MRI [10] Blurry vision, urinary incontinence, fatigue
Seizure + + - - + + - - + Previous history of seizures - Mass lesion Clinical assesment and EEG [11] Confusion, apathy, irritability,

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  1. Carbonnelle E (2009). "[Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis: usefulness of various tests for the determination of the etiological agent]". Med Mal Infect. 39 (7–8): 581–605. doi:10.1016/j.medmal.2009.02.017. PMID 19398286.
  2. Morgenstern LB, Frankowski RF (1999). "Brain tumor masquerading as stroke". J Neurooncol. 44 (1): 47–52. PMID 10582668.
  3. Weston CL, Glantz MJ, Connor JR (2011). "Detection of cancer cells in the cerebrospinal fluid: current methods and future directions". Fluids Barriers CNS. 8 (1): 14. doi:10.1186/2045-8118-8-14. PMC 3059292. PMID 21371327.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Birenbaum D, Bancroft LW, Felsberg GJ (2011). "Imaging in acute stroke". West J Emerg Med. 12 (1): 67–76. PMC 3088377. PMID 21694755.
  5. 5.0 5.1 DeLaPaz RL, Wippold FJ, Cornelius RS, Amin-Hanjani S, Angtuaco EJ, Broderick DF; et al. (2011). "ACR Appropriateness Criteria® on cerebrovascular disease". J Am Coll Radiol. 8 (8): 532–8. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2011.05.010. PMID 21807345.
  6. Lee MC, Heaney LM, Jacobson RL, Klassen AC (1975). "Cerebrospinal fluid in cerebral hemorrhage and infarction". Stroke. 6 (6): 638–41. PMID 1198628.
  7. Liu LL, Zheng WH, Tong ML, Liu GL, Zhang HL, Fu ZG; et al. (2012). "Ischemic stroke as a primary symptom of neurosyphilis among HIV-negative emergency patients". J Neurol Sci. 317 (1–2): 35–9. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2012.03.003. PMID 22482824.
  8. Berger JR, Dean D (2014). "Neurosyphilis". Handb Clin Neurol. 121: 1461–72. doi:10.1016/B978-0-7020-4088-7.00098-5. PMID 24365430.
  9. Ho EL, Marra CM (2012). "Treponemal tests for neurosyphilis--less accurate than what we thought?". Sex Transm Dis. 39 (4): 298–9. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31824ee574. PMC 3746559. PMID 22421697.
  10. Giang DW, Grow VM, Mooney C, Mushlin AI, Goodman AD, Mattson DH; et al. (1994). "Clinical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The impact of magnetic resonance imaging and ancillary testing. Rochester-Toronto Magnetic Resonance Study Group". Arch Neurol. 51 (1): 61–6. PMID 8274111.
  11. Manford M (2001). "Assessment and investigation of possible epileptic seizures". J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 70 Suppl 2: II3–8. PMC 1765557. PMID 11385043.

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