Unknown people believed to be known: the 'assoziierende Erinnerungs- fälschungen' by Kraepelin

Psychopathology. 2000 Jan-Feb;33(1):52-4. doi: 10.1159/000029120.


A male patient with epilepsy, who developed a unique form of paramnesia after an episode of zonisamide-induced psychosis is reported. The patient consistently mistook people who were quite new to him, such as staff of the hospital, for persons whom he had met long ago. However, he did not misidentify their names or other attributes, such as their occupations. This extraordinary form of misidentification does not fall into any known subcategory of misidentification syndromes. Rather, this paramnesia falls into the classical description of 'assoziierende Erinnerungsfälschungen' by Kraepelin. The neuropsychological interpretation of the reported patient is difficult. However, loss of familiarity with environmental objects due to his long sustained epileptic history is supposed to be a possible mechanism of paramnesia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mental Recall
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Occipital Lobe / pathology
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology