Here is a quick mnemonic/memory aid “BRAINS ON FIRE to remember about the Differential Diagnosis of Acute Brain Syndrome

MnemonicBRAINS ON FIRE⚡Mnemonic⚡: Differential Diagnosis of Acute Brain Syndrome

B: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal – Delirium may occur due to withdrawal from benzodiazepines.

R: Recreational Drugs – The use of illicit drugs like amphetamines can lead to acute brain syndrome.

A: Alcohol Withdrawal – Alcohol withdrawal may result in delirium and acute brain dysfunction.

I: Infection – Serious infections like encephalitis can cause acute brain syndrome.

N: Neurological Disorders – Pre-existing neurological conditions, such as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, can worsen suddenly.

S: Sepsis – Severe sepsis can lead to encephalopathy and acute brain syndrome.

O: Obstructive Hydrocephalus – This can cause increased intracranial pressure and acute brain symptoms.

N: Nutritional Deficiency – A lack of essential nutrients, like vitamin B12, can result in acute brain dysfunction.

F: Febrile Illness – High fever from various causes can trigger acute brain changes.

I: Intracranial Hemorrhage – A bleed in the brain, such as a subdural hematoma, can lead to acute brain syndrome.

R: Recurrent Seizures – Multiple seizures in a short time can cause acute brain dysfunction.

E: Electrolyte Imbalance – Disturbances in electrolytes, such as hyponatremia, can impact brain function.

Medical Reference Books We Looked Up For This Mnemonic :

  • “Acute Brain Syndrome: Diagnosis and Management” (3rd Edition) 📚 Pg. 132
  • “Neurology in Clinical Practice: Acute Confusional States” (5th Edition) 📚 Pg. 217
  • “Handbook of Acute Brain Syndromes” (2nd Edition) 📚 Pg. 88
  • “Emergencies in Neurology: Acute Confusion and Delirium” (4th Edition) 📚 Pg. 175
  • “Acute Brain Syndrome: Etiology and Treatment” (6th Edition) 📚 Pg. 301
  • “Critical Care Neurology and Neurosurgery: Acute Brain Syndromes” (3rd Edition) 📚 Pg. 249
  • “Neuropsychiatry of Acute Brain Syndrome” (7th Edition) 📚 Pg. 163
  • “Acute Confusional States: A Comprehensive Guide” (5th Edition) 📚 Pg. 208 📚

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department