Monday, February 11, 2008

The Capgras Delusion in Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Southern Illinois University medical students Sameer Vohra and Teschlyn Woods were discussing Dementia with Lewy Bodies today and mentioned that Capgras syndrome can sometimes be a manifestation of this particular type of dementia. I had never heard of Capgras syndrome, but they explained it to me. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

"The Capgras delusion (or Capgras's syndrome) is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that an acquaintance, usually a spouse or other close family member, has been replaced by an identical looking imposter.... It can occur in acute, transient, or chronic forms.
The delusion is most common in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, although it can occur in a number of conditions including after brain injury and dementia. Although the Capgras delusion is commonly called a syndrome, because it can occur as part of, or alongside, various other disorders and conditions, some researchers have argued that it should be considered as a symptom, rather than a syndrome or classification in its own right."

It is named after Joseph Capgras (1873-1950), a French psychiatrist who first described the disorder in a 1923 paper by Capgras and Reboul-Lachaux. Here’s the link to the Wikipedia site describing the Capgras delusion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capgras_delusion

8 comments:

JD said...

I disagree. DLBD is one of those parkinsonism-plus syndromes, and for DLBD, the "plus" consists of this triad: fluctuations in mental status, sleep disturbance (classically REM sleep behavior disorder), and visual hallucinations. True psychiatric delusions are not part of the disease.

Brian E. Moore, MD said...

Oh, I agree that it is not a criterion for the diagnosis of DLB, but Capgras delusion can sometimes be associated with DLB. I'll look into it more and see how frequent this phenomenon is in DLB versus other types of dementia and post what I find.

Brian E. Moore, MD said...

I did a quick search of the literature and the internet and found that indeed Capgras delusion is seen in DLB, but it is also seen in patients with Alzheimer disease and I imagine in other dementias. So, maybe I should have written that Capgras delusion can sometimes be associated with DLB rather than that it can sometimes be a manifestation therof. In either case, however, there was never intended an implication that it was seen exclusively seen in DLB. Thank you for your comments, JD.

JD said...

No problem!

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Health said...

The early stages of Alzheimer's and other causes of dementia can be difficult to spot, but there are some signs that are useful in spotting the disease.

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this is a unique behavio, in all my years analizing cases like this I never hear something like this, but well in this condition any kind of end can happen.