Capgras Syndrome

The Capgras syndrome, more commonly known as the Capgras delusion, is a unique disorder that is often found in individuals with schizophrenia. Due to its bizarre nature, it is frequently found in popular culture. It is named after Joseph Capgras, who first described it in 1923. Here are the basics regarding the Capgras syndrome.

Symptoms. The Capgras syndrome is marked by a delusion in which a family member, spouse, or other close person is replaced by an imposter that is identical in appearance, from the perspective of the patient. Alternatively, it is possible for the person to view themselves as the double. The Capgras syndrome can also involve places and objects as items of misidentification, as well as being present in chronic, acute, or transient forms.

Classification. Most often seen in schizphrenic patients, it can also occur in other conditions such as dementia and brain injury. It is often argued that the Capgras syndrome (delusion) should be regarded as a symptom and not something independent. The Capgras syndrome is classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome.

Causes. Many believe Capgras syndrome to be linked to a loss of emotional response to familiar faces, having complex implications in the disconnection between the temporal cortex. An impairment in reasoning, in addition the the first noted cause, is also suggested as a cause of Capgras syndrome.

Popular CultureCapgras syndrome has been utilized in a number of films, books, and other media. The 1944 film "The Curse of the Cat People" and the 2006 novel from Richard Power, "The Echo Maker", are a couple of examples in which Capgras syndrome are prominent.  You can also find it in a number of other places as well.

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