Skip to main content

Advertisement

Neuropsychological association between paranoid schizophrenia and delusional misidentification syndromes: an in between subjects design

Background

Delusional Misidentification Syndromes (DMSs) have been observed in a variety of psychiatric and other medical conditions but they seem to be strongly associated with schizophrenia since they occur predominantly in the context of paranoid schizophrenia. Previous studies about a neuropsychological relationship between DMSs and schizophrenia have implicated cognitive functions performed by bilateral frontal and right hemisphere in both schizophrenia and DMS, but there are mainly case reports, lacking the appropriate controls. Aim of the present study was to investigate whether DMS in paranoid schizophrenia is mediated by a distinct neuropsychological substrate indicative of differential bilateral frontal and right hemisphere dysfunction.

Materials and methods

The sample of the study included 44 right-handed schizophrenic patients, 22 of them with DMSs and 22 without previous history of DMMs, matched for gender, age, education, severity and duration of illness. Both groups were on medication with comparable doses of atypical antipsychotics. The neuropsychological battery used was designed to assess cognitive functions mainly associated with right hemisphere and frontal lobe areas. DMMs were active and their counterparts were also deluded at the time of neuropsychological assessment.

Results

No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of their mean performance in all neuropsychological tests. Both groups showed evidence of dysfunction in frontal and right cerebral regions.

Conclusions

Our findings show evidence of right hemisphere and frontal lobe dysfunction of equal severity in both groups of paranoid schizophrenic patients with and without DMS and suggest that DMS and paranoid schizophrenia share the same neuropsychological substrate.

References

  1. 1.

    Coltheart M., Langdon R., McKay R.: Schizophrenia and monothematic delusions. Schizophr Bull. 2007, 33: 642-647. 10.1093/schbul/sbm017.

  2. 2.

    Coltheart M.: The 33rd Sir Frederick Bartlett Lecture. Cognitive neuropsychiatry and delusional belief. The quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2007, 60: 1041-1062. 10.1080/17470210701338071.

  3. 3.

    Cutting J.: Evidence for right hemisphere dysfunction in Schizophrenia. In: The neuropsychology of schizophrenia. Edited by: AS David and JC Cutting. 1994, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd

  4. 4.

    Edelstyn N.M.J., Oyebode F.: A review of the phenomenology and cognitive neuropsychological origins of the Capgras syndrome. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 1999, 14: 48-59. 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1166(199901)14:1<48::AID-GPS891>3.0.CO;2-0.

  5. 5.

    Ellis H.D., de Pauw K.W., Christodoulou G.N., Papageorgiou L., Milne A.B., Joseph A.B.: Responses to facial and nonfacial stimuli presented tachistoscopically in either or both visual fields by patients with the Capgras delusion and paranoid schizophrenics. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. 1993, 56: 215-219.

  6. 6.

    Ellis H.D., Luatι J.P., Rettestrol N.: Delusional Misidentification Syndromes. Psychopathology. 1994, 27: 117-120.

  7. 7.

    Joseph A.B.: Focal central nervous system abnormalities in patients with misidentification syndromes. Bibliotheca Psychiatrica. 1986, 164: 68-79.

  8. 8.

    Kokkevi A., Christodoulou G.N.: Psychometric Investigation of patients with Delusional Misidentification Syndromes. Psychiatry the State of Art. Edited by: P. Pichot, P. Berner, R. Wolf & K. Thau. 1985, Plenum Press, 841-849.

  9. 9.

    Lezak M.D.: Neuropsychological Assessment. 2004, Oxford University Press, Inc, 4rd edn

  10. 10.

    Lykouras L., Typaldou M., Gournellis R., Vaslamatzis G., Christodoulou G.N.: Coexistence of Capgras and Frιgoli syndromes in a single patient. Clinical, neuroimaging and neuropsychological findings, European Psychiatry. 2002, 17: 234-235.

  11. 11.

    Morrison R.L., Tarter R.E.: Neuropsychological Findings Relating to Capgras Syndrome. Biological Psychiatry. 1984, 19: 1119-1128.

  12. 12.

    Paillιre-Martinot M.L., Dao-Castellana M.H., Masure M. C., Pillon B., Martinot J.L.: Delusional Misidentification: A Clinical Neuropsychological and Brain Imaging Case Study. Psychopathology. 1994, 27: 200-210.

  13. 13.

    Wilcox J., Waziri R.: The Capgras symptom and nondominant cerebral dysfunction. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 1983, 44: 70-72.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Maria Typaldou.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Keywords

  • Schizophrenia
  • Cognitive Function
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Schizophrenic Patient
  • Neuropsychological Test