On the edge of Capgras’ syndrome

Andrea Turano 1, Cecilia Caravaggi 2, Giuseppe Ducci 2, Silvia Bernardini 2, Pier Luca Bandinelli 2

1 Department of Pyschiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Mental Health ASL Roma 1, Rome, Italy

Capgras’ syndrome, the delusional belief in the existence of doubles of others or of oneself, belongs to the delusional misidentification syndromes (DMSs), a group of syndromes characterized by delusional misidentification of oneself and/or of other people. These syndromes are not codified as diagnoses per se on the DSM-5 or on the ICD-11, and are usually seen as specific presentations of broader psychiatric disorders. Capgras’ syndrome has been shown on both psychiatric and non-psychiatric disorders, thus not being a manageable tool in helping clinicians to define a diagnosis. Presenting what we believe is a special case of Capgras’ syndrome, we aim to propose a characterization of such syndrome very specific of schizophrenic – and thus psychiatric – conditions, which may turn especially useful in clinical pictures where no other psychiatric or medical symptoms are found and can help defining a diagnosis. 

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