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Delusional misidentification syndrome

Delusional misidentification syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of delusional disorders that occur in the context of mental or neurological illness. They all involve a belief that the identity of a person, object or place has somehow changed or has been altered.

This syndrome is usually considered to include four main variants 1:

However, similar delusional beliefs, often singularly or more rarely reported, are sometimes also considered to be part of the delusional misidentification syndrome. For example:

There is considerable evidence that disorders such as the Capgras or Fregoli syndromes are associated with disorders of face perception and recognition. However, it has been suggested that all misidentifcation problems may exist on a continuum of anomalies of familiarity5, from déjà vu at one end, to the formation of delusional beliefs at the other.

See also


Ellis, H.D., Luauté, J.P. & Retterstol, N. (1994) Delusional misidentification syndromes. Psychopathology, 27, 117-120.
2Benson DF, Gardner H, Meadows JC. (1976) Reduplicative paramnesia. Neurology, 26(2), 147-51.
3Shanks, M.F. & Venneri, A. (2002) The emergence of delusional companions in Alzheimer's disease: An unusual misidentification syndrome. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 7(4), 317-28.
4Voros V, Tenyi T, Simon M, Trixler M. (2003) 'Clonal pluralization of the self': a new form of delusional misidentification syndrome. Psychopathology, 36(1), 46-8.
5Sno, H.N. (1994) A continuum of misidentification symptoms. Psychopathology, 27(3-5), 144-7.