Joseph Capgras discovered Capgras Syndrome in the early 20th century. Capgras Syndrome is a psychotic condition defined by a delusion that an imposter has replaced an individual. The condition is categorized as delusional misidentification syndrome which involves a belief that a patient delusion that entails misidentification of people or objects at a particular time. A patient with this condition fails to recognize their acquaintances and often refers to them as imposters; most delusions are close relatives of the patient (Neto et al., 2016). Patients with the syndrome assert that the person is "identical to" or "looks like" somebody they recognize, whereas they remain believing that there are there are two, unlike people. However, the delusional belief is much stronger when the alleged imposter is present (Ferguson et al., 2017; Mani, Potdar & Gleeson, 2014).
According to Malloy (2018), Capgras Syndrome is triggered by irregularly disruption and flattened affective responses to close acquaintances. It shows typically in cases of misidentification of close members of the family. Capgras Syndrome was previously regarded as a psychiatric disorder, usually schizophrenia that arises in both men and women of different ages. Capgras Syndrome results from traumatic brain injury or a condition that adversely affects the proper functioning of the brain such as dementia or schizophrenia. Therefore, the brain is the subject matter of Capgras Syndrome, causing researchers to hypothesize that the syndrome results from disturbance of the nervous system between the emotional and stimulation responses (Klein & Hirachan, 2014). The connection between visual and emotional pathways in patients with the syndrome is disconnected (Bate, 2013).
No prescribed guidelines presently that define the appropriate standards to be used for treatment or evaluation of the syndrome, which is particularly essential to form a standard of care. When Capgras Syndrome is caused by brain injury, the chances are that the brain might be able to fit itself by re-establishing pathways interrupted by trauma. Conversely, when resulted from psychological disorders, there is little to do about it.
Bate, S. (2013). Delusional Misidentification Syndrome. Face Recognition and Its Disorders,71-80. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-29277-3_6
Ferguson, M. R., Yu, C. K., Poliakov, A. V., Friedman, S. D., & Mcclellan, J. M. (2017). Capgras syndrome: Neuroanatomical assessment of brain MRI findings in an adolescent patient. Brain,140(7). doi:10.1093/brain/awx121
Klein, C. A., & Hirachan, S. (2014). The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry and Law. The Masks of Identities: Who's Who? Delusional Misidentification Syndromes,42(3), 4-6. doi:10.1521/pdps.2014.42.2.307
Malloy, P. (2018). Capgras Syndrome. Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology,679-682. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1349
Mani, H., Potdar, N., & Gleeson, H. (2014). How to manage an adolescent girl presenting with features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); an exemplary for adolescent health care in endocrinology. Clinical Endocrinology,81(5), 652-656. doi:10.1111/cen.12501
Neto, H. R., Cavalcante, W. C., Filho, S. N., Smid, J., & Nitrini, R. (2016). Capgras syndrome associated with limbic encephalitis in a patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Dementia & Neuropsychologia,10(1), 63-69. doi:10.1590/s1980-57642016dn10100012
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