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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 1

New research

The Charles Bonnet syndrome

R.J. Teunisse, F.G. Zitman

This paper comprises a review of the literature on the Charles Bonnet syndrome. The case of an elderly neuropsychiatrist is presented. The Charles Bonnet syndrome is characterized by the presence of complex visual hallucinations in psychologically normal persons. The present knowledge on the Charles Bonnet depends almost completely on casuistic data. The syndrome has been described primarily in elderly persons with disorders of the peripheral and central visual system. Probably the syndrome is less rare than was assumed in the past. Many cases remain undiscovered because patients are reluctant to share their experiences with others and doctors don't recognize the phenomena. Aetiology and pathogenesis is unknown. Scientific research on the Charles Bonnet syndrome could lead to more insight in the pathogenesis of hallucinations in general.