Although important to cognitive neuropsychiatry and theories of delusions, Capgras delusion has largely been reported in single case studies. Bell et al. [2017. Uncovering Capgras delusion using a large scale medical records database. British Journal of Psychiatry Open, 3(4), 179-185] previously deployed computational and clinical case identification on a large-scale medical records database to report a case series of 84 individuals with Capgras delusion. We replicated this approach on a new database from a different mental health service provider while additionally examining instances of violence, given previous claims that Capgras is a forensic risk.
We identified 34 additional cases of Capgras. Delusion phenomenology, clinical characteristics, and presence of lesions detected by neuroimaging were extracted.
Although most cases involved misidentification of family members or partners, a notable minority (20.6%) included the misidentification of others. Capgras typically did not present as a monothematic delusion. Few cases had identifiable lesions with no evidence of right-hemisphere bias. There was no evidence of physical violence associated with Capgras.
Findings closely replicate Bell et al. (2017). The majority of Capgras delusion phenomenology conforms to the "dual route" model although a significant minority of cases cannot be explained by this framework.