Capgras Not Rare After All

Following up on our earlier discussion of Capgras Syndrome (in which the victim comes to believe that his or her loved ones have been replaced by imposters), Manhatten psychiatrist Carol Berman has written in the New York Times (registration req’d) about her experience with a Capgras patient. According to a short piece in Mind Hacks, the bizarre condition is “fairly common in older people with dementia and psychosis.”

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.

One thought on “Capgras Not Rare After All

  1. Hi there,

    The reference is Ballard, C.G.; Saad, K.; Patel, A.; Gahir, M.; Solis, M.; Coope, B.; and Wilcock, G. The prevalence and phenomenology of psychotic symptoms in dementia sufferers. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 10(6):477-485, 1995.

    The study found a prevalence for delusions of misidentification of 14.5% and a Capgras prevalance of 2.4% (about 1 in 40).

    A smaller study found a Capgras prevalence of 10% in Alzheimer’s:

    Harwood DG, Barker WW, Ownby RL & Duara R (1999) Prevalence and correlates of Capgras syndrome in Alzheimer’s disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 14, 415-20.

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