Capgras syndrome

Also known as Capgras delusion.

A disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member or possibly a pet, has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.

A neurological disorder, in which the delusion primarily results from organic brain lesions or degeneration.

Classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome.

A class of delusional beliefs that involves the misidentification of people, places, or objects.

It can occur in acute, transient, or chronic forms.

The delusion most commonly occurs in patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but has also been seen in patients suffering from brain injury and dementia.

It presents often in individuals with a neurodegenerative disease, particularly at an advanced age.

Also reported as occurring in association with diabetes, hypothyroidism, migraine attacks, and with exposure to ketamine.

Occurs more frequently in females, with a female:male ratio of 3:2.

Patients are unable to recognize faces consciously, despite being able to recognize other types of visual objects.

Capgras delusion are also often the result of right hemisphere lesions.

Some hypothesize that the origin of Capgras syndrome is a disconnection between the temporal cortex, where faces are usually recognized, and the limbic system, involved in emotions.

It is proposed the disconnection between the amygdala and the inferotemporal cortex.

Individual therapy is used to treat the individual’s delusions.

Cognitive techniques that include reality testing, antipsychotics and other therapeutic drugs have been used with relative success.

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