Background and Objectives: Cycloid psychoses are characterized by polymorphic symptomatology with intraphasic bipolarity, a remitting and recurrent course and favourable prognosis. Perris and Brockington (P&B) described the first set of operational criteria that were partly incorporated in ICD-10. The present study investigates psy-chopathological profiles according to the P&B criteria and the original descriptions by Leonhard, both against the background of the criteria from the prevailing international classification systems. Methods: Eighty patients with psychotic disorders were recruited and assessed with various psychometric instruments at baseline and after six weeks of antipsychotic treatment in order to investigate the presence of cycloid psychoses according to Leonhard (LCP) and the effect of treatment with antipsychotics. The overlap between LCP and DSM-IV Brief Psychotic Disorder (BPD), ICD Acute Polymorphic Psychotic Disorder (APP) and P&B criteria was calculated. Results: Using P&B criteria and a symptom checklist adapted from the original descriptions by Leonhard, 14 and 12 cases of cycloid psychosis were identified respectively reflecting a prevalence of 15-18%. Small though significant concordance rates were found between LCP and both DSM-BPD and ICD-APP. Concordance between LCP and P&B criteria was also significant, but modest. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that LCP can be identified in a substantial number of patients with psychotic disorders. Cycloid psychoses are not adequately covered in current classification systems and criteria. Since they are demonstrated to have a specific psychopathological profile, relapsing course and favourable prognosis, it is advocated to include these psychoses in daily differential diagnostic procedures.

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The European Journal of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry

van de Kerkhof, N., van der Heijden, F., Schneider, M., Pfuhlmann, B., Stöber, G., Egger, J., & Verhoeven, W. (2012). Cycloid psychoses: Leonhard's descriptions revisited. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 26(4), 266–278. Retrieved from