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Case Reports
, 22 (3), 229-31

[Delusion and Sleep Deprivation]

[Article in French]
  • PMID: 8767052
Case Reports

[Delusion and Sleep Deprivation]

[Article in French]
P Devillières et al. Encephale.


In this article, the authors report two observations of short delusion that occurred after taking Guronsan--a psychostimulant commercialized in France--for a few days, with the intention of maintaining a total deprivation of sleep for three days in both cases. The ensuing clinical picture included a state of depersonalization, a loss of the sense of reality, illusions and even visual hallucinations as well as a delirious feeling of persecution. These disorders altered with the state of vigilance and the patients remembered them clearly. The authors discussed the etiopathogenic role of this psychotrope, as its components--acid ascorbic, glucuronamide and caffein--are not mentioned in literature as causing factors of a psychotic state. Then they compared this psychotrope with other molecules: amphetamines in particular may start a delirium of persecution, but normally they just reveal an underlying psychotic structure, which doesn't seem to be the case here, where the two young adults were only found a little immature. Chloroquine has sometimes been incriminated for disorders similar to those mentioned above, with a difference lying in a greater stability in the duration of these disorders that would persist several days after the end of the treatment. The clinical picture of the two cases was more labile and sedation was complete as soon as the absorption of the psychotrope was interrupted and sleep was restored at the same time. That is why the authors emphasize the importance of the deprivation of sleep as a causing factor of those delusion disorders which have particularly been observed in the case of solitary navigators. The psychiatrist dealing with emergencies shouldn't overlook this clinical and etiological possibility, all the less so as the treatment is simple and the resort to neuroleptics unnecessary.

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