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Dementia, delirium & neuropsychiatric conditions in Charaka indriya sthana

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Charaka Samhita is the oldest and most authentic treatise on Ayurveda (an ancient Indian system of medicine). Indriya sthana (prognostic medicine) is one among the eight sections of Charaka samhita and it deals with prognostic aspects. Arishta lakshanas are the signs and symptoms which indicates imminent death. Various psychiatric and neuropsychiatric conditions are mentioned throughout ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’ in a scattered form. Dementia and delirium are commonly seen at terminal stages or at the end-of-life. As indriya sthana deals with terminal illnesses or end-of-life stages, there is a hypothesis that description of conditions like dementia and delirium may be traceable in ‘Charaka indriya sthana’. The present study attempts to screen various references pertaining to psychiatric and neuropsychiatric conditions of ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’ and explore their rationality, clinical and prognostic significance in present era. Dementia, Delirium and neuropsychiatric conditions of ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’ have been explored in the present study. ‘Dementia’ and ‘Delirium’ are the two most common conditions found through out ‘Charaka indriya sthana’. Various references related to other psychiatric and neuropsychiatric conditions like, ‘Hallucinations’, ‘Trichotillomania’, ‘Bruxism’, ‘Nail biting’, ‘Impulse control disorders’, ‘Major depressive disorder’, ‘Catatonia’ and ‘Negative symptoms of Schizophrenia’. The psychiatric/neuropsychiatric conditions mentioned in ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’ are characterized by poor prognosis, having irreversible underlying pathology, chronic, progressive and debilitating in nature and commonly found in dying patients or at the endof-life stages. It seems that psychiatric conditions mentioned in ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’ have clinical applicability and prognostic significance in present era also. Further studies are required to substantiate the clinical findings described in ‘Charaka Indriya sthana’.


Charaka samhita, delirium, dementia, Indriya sthana, neuropsychiatric disorders, scizhophrenia