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Jun 6, 2019

Hallucinations May Point to Rare, Non-Psychotic Condition

by: Deborah Brauser

SAN FRANCISCO — Although Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) is considered to be a rare hallucinatory disorder, new research suggests that it may become more common, highlighting the need for clinicians to recognize its symptoms and avoid misdiagnosis.

In CBS, patients with no history of mental illness report visual hallucinations often traced to physical causes, such as vision loss. A rarer version, sometimes known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome Plus, involves auditory hallucinations, again traced to a physical reason.

Three case report studies of patients with variations of CBS were presented during one poster session here at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2019 Annual Meeting.

In the first report, a 96-year-old woman with no history of drug or alcohol abuse presented to primary care with intermittent visual hallucinations. She had undergone bilateral cataract surgeries with interocular lens replacement and was receiving ongoing treatment for open-angle glaucoma and age-related senile cataracts.

In the second study, a 78-year-old man reported hearing voices and music that weren’t actually there. It was discovered that he had undergone an earlier cochlear implantation  because of hearing loss.

In the third report, a 67-year-old man presented with a new onset of both auditory and visual hallucinations. He reported hearing “choir members singing songs” and sometimes seeing people in a room. However, both occurrences never happened at the same time.

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Source: Medscape

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