Delusional misidentification

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2005 Sep;28(3):665-83, 678-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2005.05.002.


The Capgras syndrome and other forms of delusional misidentification may be encountered frequently in neuropsychiatric settings. DMS can occur in the presence of idiopathic psychiatric illness, in diffuse brain illness such as dementia, and in focal neurologic disease. In patients who have focal lesions, there is evidence that right hemisphere damage is necessary for the production of DMS. Although DMS is associated with a pattern of neuropsychologic impairments in the domains of memory, perception, and executive function, these impairments alone do not account for the selectivity and delusional nature of DMS. Therefore, other factors such as premorbid psychopathology, motivation, and loss of ego functions may be important in determining which vulnerable patients develop DMS and which do not.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Capgras Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Capgras Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Capgras Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / epidemiology
  • Perceptual Disorders / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / physiopathology*
  • Self Concept
  • Space Perception