Some patients with porphyria will manifest psychiatric disorders, which can be significant. The classic examples are associated with acute intermittent porphyria (AIP).


Porphyrias associated with neuropsychiatric problems:

(1) ALA dehydrogenase deficiency (ALAD deficiency, plumboporphyria)

(2) acute intermittent porphyria (AIP)

(3) hereditary coproporphyria (HCP)

(4) variegate porphyria (VP)


Variegate porphyria may be associated with cutaneous lesions as well.


AIP, HCP and VP are autosomal dominant disorders, so there may be a family history of psychiatric disorders. They are also associated with acute "attacks".


Psychiatric problems may include:

(1) confusion

(2) delirium

(3) depression

(4) mania or hypomania

(5) psychosis (hallucinations, etc)

(6) irritability

(7) disinhibition

(8) catatonia

(9) emotional lability


A patient may experience different psychiatric problems during separate attacks (variable).


Control of the psychiatric conditions may be difficult during acute porphyria.


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