As with any significant mental illness, to improve clinical outcomes, family support may help patients’ medication adherence and ensure they attend scheduled medical appointments.
Our patient was eventually stabilized on long-acting injectable risperidone, 25 mg, with improvement in symptoms. Unfortunately, she was not convinced that her symptoms were psychiatric in nature and did not continue with her medications as an outpatient.
The patient’s nonadherence to her medication regimen led to 2 more hospitalizations with similar presentations over the following 2 years. On her most recent discharge, she was stabilized on oral olanzapine, 10 mg every night at bedtime, with close outpatient follow-up and family education.
The prodromal phase of patients with LOS is similar to patients with EOS and includes withdrawal and isolation from others, making it difficult for physicians to evaluate and treat patients. Patients with LOS predominantly experience positive symptoms that may include delusions and hallucinations. Brain imaging studies can help rule out progressive dementia diseases. A neuropsychological evaluation can assess the patient’s functional level and types of delusions, which helps to differentiate LOS from other late-age psychoses. Treatment with SGAs make for a good prognosis; however, this requires patients to be adherent to treatment.
Sandy Chan, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, UMass Memorial Medical Center, 55N Lake Avenue, Worcester, MA 01605; [email protected]