Monday, April 20, 2009


Associated with Schizophrenia, brain damage, and dementia, the Capgras Delusion is characterized by a patient being convinced that a loved one has been imprisoned and that an impostor has taken his or her place. Capgras Delusion is characterized as a delusional misidentification syndrome, though some researchers believe that the Capgras Delusion should not be considered a syndrome, but rather a symptom related to underlying causes.

The Capgras Delusion is named after Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist who first described the ailment in 1923 in a paper coauthored by Reboul-Lachaux.

It is believed that the Capgras Delusion is caused by a breakdown in the part of the brain responsible for creating the appropriate emotional resonse to visual stimuli. When a person suffering from this disorder sees the face of a loved one, they can recognize the person, but do not feel the appropriate emotional response leading them to believe that something is not right and that the person is not really the person they know and love.

In the case of schizophrenia, which makes up the majority of Capgras cases, the delusion can be treated with antipsychotic medication.

Since this sick is not terminal, but can lead to immense emotional pain and even violence, I rate it a
1 on my "lethality scale" (1-10)
and a 5 on my "disturbing scale" (1-10)

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