Under this title, Dr. Pianetta discusses the pseudo-paranoiac symptoms which occur in degenerate subjects, illustrating his remarks by three personal observations. As characteristic of the group of “paranoids” which he describes, the author indicates that they manifest a tendency to erroneous interpretation of outside impressions in some special direction, without, however, elaborating a systematised delirium; their mental state is thus that of incipient paranoia,—at times, perhaps, undergoing an exacerbation which renders them for the moment symptomatically indistinguishable from cases of typical paranoia. The author points out the affinities of these cases to the paranoia sine delirio of Tanzi and Riva, and to Magnan's mental degeneracy with episodic syndromes, with which, indeed, the cases recorded appear in all respects identical. The first observation is that of a man with hereditary taint, in whom mental disorder first appeared shortly after marriage; recovery was rapid, but the patient subsequently manifested neurasthenic symptoms with a disposition to hypochondriacal, self-depreciatory, and persecutory ideas. Generally these ideas had an obsessional character and were more or less readily repressed, but at times they acquired the force of delusions, were supported by hallucinations, and on one occasion led to a suicidal attempt. The author draws special attention to the passage from obsession to delusion in this case. The second observation refers to an individual hereditarily unstable, eccentric, and morbidly vain, who presented at intervals a tendency to disconnected delusions, chiefly hypochondriacal and persecutory. In the third observation, the patient, aged twenty-three, mentally degenerate as a result of insane heredity and of infectious disease in childhood, presented at intervals imperfectly defined delusions of persecution. Of very defective ethical development, he was repeatedly condemned for theft and for sexual offences, and two of his persecutory episodes occurred in prison.
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