What Is Capgras Syndrome?
Capgras syndrome is a rare condition that affects only one in every 100,000 people. It’s characterized by the presence of several small lesions (capillaries) in the brain, which are filled with blood. These capillary beds can become blocked with plaque or other substances, leading to a form of cerebral edema called cerebral vasculitis. If left untreated, it leads to death within days.
The most common symptom of capgras syndrome is headache. Other symptoms include confusion, memory loss, depression, hallucinations and seizures.
In severe cases, the patient may experience coma or even death.
Causes Of Capgras Syndrome:
There are no known causes of capgras syndrome; however, there have been some theories proposed to explain its cause. One theory suggests that the disease results from a genetic predisposition.
Another theory suggests that it could result from exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy. A third hypothesis proposes that it might result from the use of certain drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine. There is also the possibility of it being connected to an infection of the brain.
Diagnosing Capgras Syndrome:
The presence of capgras syndrome can be confirmed by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This will help identify lesions (capillaries) in the brain.
It might also reveal other structural changes.
Other tests that can be used to confirm the presence of capgras syndrome are Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET). In addition to this, a lumbar puncture can also be performed to identify any traces of infection in the brain.
Treating Capgras Syndrome:
The treatment protocol for capgras syndrome involves the use of immunosuppressant drugs such as prednisone. These drugs help counteract the damage done to neurons by the capgras lesions.
Interferon has also been proven to be effective in treating capgras syndrome. Other newer drugs such as belimumab and rituximab have also been found to be highly effective in treating capgras syndrome.
In most cases, the symptoms of capgras syndrome begin to disappear within a period of time ranging from weeks to months. In some cases, however, the symptoms may linger for an extended period of time.
In serious cases, complete recovery may not be possible.
What are some other conditions that resemble Capgras syndrome?
There are several conditions that can resemble capgras syndrome. These include lewy body dementia, lupus, moyamoya disease and alzheimer’s disease.
The main symptom that resembles capgras syndrome is memory loss. If you suffer from memory loss then it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Delaying treatment could lead to memory loss that is irreversible.
How common is Capgras Syndrome?
As mentioned earlier, capgras syndrome is a rare condition that affects only one in every 100,000 people. During the 20th century, the first case of capgras syndrome was reported in France in 1933. Since then, there have been numerous cases reported all over the world.
What are the possible complications of Capgras Syndrome?
Capgras syndrome is a condition that can be potentially life-threatening. If you suffer from this condition without proper treatment, you are at high risk of developing other brain disorders such as epilepsy, moyamoya disease and memory loss. In such cases, death is highly likely.
People suffering from capgras syndrome are also at risk of falling victim to life-threatening infections due to their weakened immune system.
Capgras Syndrome is a rare condition that has been a topic of significant debate among medical science circles. It is essential that people suffering from this condition seek urgent medical attention to avoid further complications.
Sources & references used in this article:
Capgras’ syndrome by RJ Berson – 1982 – academicworks.cuny.edu
Capgras syndrome: a reduplicative phenomenon by MP Alexander, DT Stuss, DF Benson – Neurology, 1979 – AAN Enterprises
Capgras’ syndrome: the delusion of substitution. by SF Signer – The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 1987 – psycnet.apa.org
The Capgras syndrome following head injury by MJ Weston, FA Whitlock – The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1971 – cambridge.org
Brain imaging in a case of Capgras’ syndrome by SW Lewis – The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1987 – cambridge.org
A review of the phenomenology and cognitive neuropsychological origins of the Capgras syndrome by NMJ Edelstyn, F Oyebode – International Journal of Geriatric …, 1999 – Wiley Online Library
A case of Capgras syndrome by LK Gluckman – Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1968 – Taylor & Francis
Capgras’ syndrome and cerebral dysfunction by MA Hayman, R Abrams – The British Journal of Psychiatry, 1977 – cambridge.org
Capgras syndrome: a novel probe for understanding the neural representation of the identity and familiarity of persons by W Hirstein, VS Ramachandran – Proceedings of the …, 1997 – royalsocietypublishing.org