Capgras syndrome epidemiology, aetiology, characteristics of psychopathology: literature review

Geistė Tubutytė1, Augustina Zaveriuchaitė1

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. Capgras syndrome is a monothematic delusional misidentification syndrome that leads to the delusional conviction that an acquaintance or a relative of a patient has been replaced by a double. This syndrome is associated with positive and negative double symptoms. In the clinical psychiatric practice such symptoms appear in the structure of acute fantasy delusion with a confusion affect, also in acute paraphrenia.

Aim. To review the latest – literature about Capgras syndrome epidemioly, aetiolgy, psychopathology and treatment.

Materials and methods. The literature search was conducted in the international database PubMed. Keywords ,,Capgras syndrome’’, ,,delusional misidentification syndrome’’, ,,delusion of doubles’’ were used. 122 articles were rejected according to their title and abstract non-compliance to our subject. 52 articles, published in English language in the period of 1976-2022 were included to this literature review.

Results. Capgras syndrome’s prevalence is the highest among the delusional misidentification syndromes reaching 0,12% in the general population. Its origin can be divided into organic, functional, mixed and unspecified. Any pathology that affects the right parietal-occipital and temporal lobes can be of influence for the development of this disorder. Capgras syndrome is often to be differentiated from the delusion of subjective doubles and prosopagnosia.

Conclusions. Capgras syndrome is a complex psychopathological phenomenon occuring with a wide spectrum of psychiatric, neurologic and other organic diseases. Subject to the aetiology the clinical appearance varies. Determining and treating the adjacent psychiatric and organic disorders is the basis of Capgras syndrome management.


Keywords: Capgras syndrome, delusional misidentification syndrome, psychopathologic characteristics.