Investigation of the cerebral blood flow of an Omani man with supposed spirit possession associated with an altered mental state

A case report

Amr A. Guenedi, Ala'Alddin Al Hussaini, Yousif A. Obeid, Samir Hussain, Faisal Al-Azri, Samir Al-Adawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction. The view that spirits may possess humans is found in 90% of the world population, including Arab/Islamic societies. Despite the association between possessive states and various neurological and psychiatric disorders, the available literature has yet to correlate possessive states with functional brain imaging modalities such as single-photon-emission computed tomography. Case presentation. This paper describes the clinical case of a 22-year-old male Omani patient who presented to us with an altered state of consciousness that his caregiver attributed to possession. We examined whether the patient's mental state correlated with neuro-imaging data. The patient's distress was invariably associated with specific perfusion in the left temporal lobe and structural abnormality in the left basal ganglia. Conclusion. We discuss the case in the context of possession as a culturally sanctioned idiom of distress, and highlight the importance of studying cross-cultural presentations of altered states of consciousness within biomedical models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9325
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Cerebrovascular Circulation
Consciousness
Cross-Priming
Functional Neuroimaging
Mentally Ill Persons
Temporal Lobe
Basal Ganglia
Nervous System Diseases
Single-Photon Emission-Computed Tomography
Caregivers
Psychiatry
Perfusion
Population
Spirit Possession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Investigation of the cerebral blood flow of an Omani man with supposed spirit possession associated with an altered mental state : A case report. / Guenedi, Amr A.; Al Hussaini, Ala'Alddin; Obeid, Yousif A.; Hussain, Samir; Al-Azri, Faisal; Al-Adawi, Samir.

In: Journal of Medical Case Reports, Vol. 3, 9325, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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