This man enjoyed musical hallucinations all the time. Now he sees things that aren’t there. Thanks to his bilateral hearing aids!
An old man, aged 71, presented with a complaint of memory loss and resting tremors. In addition, he reported hearing loss and a severe weakness of his right upper limb for two years. This debility was significantly impacting his daily activities. So, he rolled in to find a permanent solution.
Upon neurological examination, the patient displayed deficient hearing i-e hypo-acusia and signs of Parkinsonism. Moreover, the patient scored poor on executive functions and memory tests. A CT scan of his brain showed atrophy in cortical and subcortical regions. The diagnosis; dementia with Lewy Bodies.
Musical Hallucinations Clock In
They patient took his prescribed medicines and things went pretty smooth. However half a decade later, he began experiencing musical hallucinations. Although not specifically troublesome, this did cause a bit of distress. Hence, the patient went to an ENT specialist who prescribed him bilateral hearing aids. Good thing, the songs stopped buzzing in his ears. However, visual hallucinations punched the bag next. The patient had never experienced such visual hallucinations before.
A Rare Case of Abrupt Shift In Hallucinations
We have never seen such an abrupt shift of hallucinations from one modality to another. This possibly explains a complex interplay between the brain’s sensory and other sub-sensory areas. Also, how treatment for one modality of sensation can create sensory deficits in the other. It is important for clinicians to bear this paradox in mind so as to choose the best treatment option.
Anyhow, this case and its unique shift of events invites further research on the intricacies of hallucinations.