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Uncovering Capgras delusion using a large-scale medical records database

  • Vaughan Bell (a1), Caryl Marshall (a2), Zara Kanji (a3), Sam Wilkinson (a4), Peter Halligan (a5) and Quinton Deeley (a6)...
Abstract
Background

Capgras delusion is scientifically important but most commonly reported as single case studies. Studies analysing large clinical records databases focus on common disorders but none have investigated rare syndromes.

Aims

Identify cases of Capgras delusion and associated psychopathology, demographics, cognitive function and neuropathology in light of existing models.

Method

Combined computational data extraction and qualitative classification using 250 000 case records from South London and Maudsley Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) database.

Results

We identified 84 individuals and extracted diagnosis-matched comparison groups. Capgras was not ‘monothematic’ in the majority of cases. Most cases involved misidentified family members or close partners but others were misidentified in 25% of cases, contrary to dual-route face recognition models. Neuroimaging provided no evidence for predominantly right hemisphere damage. Individuals were ethnically diverse with a range of psychosis spectrum diagnoses.

Conclusions

Capgras is more diverse than current models assume. Identification of rare syndromes complements existing ‘big data’ approaches in psychiatry.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Vaughan Bell, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, 6th Floor, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF, UK. E-mail: Vaughan.Bell@ucl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interests

V.B. is supported by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science (200589/Z/16/Z) and the UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. S.W. is supported by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (WT098455MA). Q.D. has received a grant from King's Health Partners.

Footnotes
References
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Uncovering Capgras delusion using a large-scale medical records database

  • Vaughan Bell (a1), Caryl Marshall (a2), Zara Kanji (a3), Sam Wilkinson (a4), Peter Halligan (a5) and Quinton Deeley (a6)...
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