To explore clinical indications for, and results of, brain imaging in general adult psychiatry. We reviewed the 100 most recent uses of brain imaging on in-patients at the Department of General Adult Psychiatry, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin.
Patients were of a mean age of 55.3 years. the most common indications for brain scans were cognitive impairment (33%) and other neurological concerns (e.g. seizures; 30%). Overall, 47% of scans were abnormal, with ischaemia (17%) and atrophy (10%) being the most common abnormalities. Patients with abnormal scans were older than those with normal scans (mean age 61.9 and 48.7 years respectively; P<0.001).
A high proportion of brain scans demonstrate abnormalities in general adult psychiatry patients, especially among older patients.