The NECSA Classification
Psychobehavioural symptoms presenting in the setting of neurological disorders can be exceptionally challenging diagnostically. The clinician is often faced with a multitude of potential contributory factors and may only have very limited time in which to comprehensively consider their interplay. It can be tempting to save time by using heuristic mental shortcuts based on clinical intuition. However, this risks the misattribution of neuropsychiatric symptoms to ‘red herring’ mechanisms that happen to stand out in the history, at the expense of a broader systematic consideration of potential differentials. The NECSA Classification* was developed for the busy clinician as a checklist of pathogenetic mechanisms which is conceptually clear, easy to recall and time-efficient to apply.
Hassan I (2015). The Neuropsychiatric Effects of CNS Structural Abnormalities (NECSA) classification: An aid to differential diagnosis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 49: 943.