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Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience

Olivier Walusinski
Beliefs involving the devil and possession figured in the nosography of mental illness that alienists gradually established during the 19th century. The description of this form of cenesthetic hallucination resulted in "the possessed" being viewed as patients, which protected them from the trials and punishments they so frequently faced in earlier centuries. According to psychologists, this illusion of mental duality is linked to impairment of introspective capacities. Current brain imaging suggests inappropriate activity of the default mode network, which interferes with attentional systems during the hallucinatory episode...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Laurent Tatu, Julien Bogousslavsky
Camptocormia is defined as an involuntary flexion of the thoracolumbar spine, without fixed kyphosis, which increases during walking and standing, and abates in the supine position. First described during World War 1 in soldiers suffering from war psychoneuroses, camptocormia has progressively come to refer to any cause of trunk forward-flexed posture during standing and ambulation. It is now admitted that camptocormia should be considered as a syndrome related to many etiologies. In this chapter, we present the historical aspects of the syndrome and its main etiologies...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Douglas J Lanska, John R Lanska
In 1955, English psychiatrist John Todd defined the Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome (AIWS) as self-experienced paroxysmal body-image illusions involving distortions of the size, mass, or shape of the patient's own body or its position in space, often accompanied by depersonalization and/or derealization. AIWS had been described by American Neurologist Caro Lippman in 1952, but Todd's report was the most influential. Todd named the syndrome for the perceptual disorder of altered body image experienced by the protagonist in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Douglas J Lanska
The dancing mania erupted in the 14th century in the wake of the Black Death, and recurred for centuries in central Europe - particularly Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium - finally abating in the early 17th century. The term "dancing mania" was derived from "choreomania," a concatenation of choros (dance) and mania (madness). A variant, tarantism, was prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th centuries, and was attributed at the time to bites from the tarantula spider. Affected individuals participated in continuous, prolonged, erratic, often frenzied and sometimes erotic, dancing...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Douglas J Lanska
In the late 19th century, jumping (French Canadians in Maine, USA), miryachit (Siberia), and latah (Southeast Asia) were among a group of similar disorders described around the world, each of which manifests as an exaggerated startle response with additional late-response features that were felt by some to overlap with hysteria or tics. The later features following the exaggerated startle reaction variably include mimesis (e.g., echopraxia, echolalia) and automatic obedience. These reaction patterns tended to persist indefinitely in affected individuals...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Sophia Sopromadze, Alexander Tsiskaridze
Violence is a significant public health problem representing one of the leading causes of death worldwide for people aged 15-44 years. Although violence and aggression are more frequent in adolescence and early adult life and decline with advancing age, these conditions can still develop for the first time in old age especially in association with organic brain disorder. Rates of violent death vary according to country income levels and are twice as higher in low- to middle-income countries than in high-income countries...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Leila Chouiter, Jean-Marie Annoni
The word glossolalia, also referred to as "speaking in tongues," originates from the Greek "glossa" which means "language" and "Lalia" which means "speak." It simply means to talk language. On a linguistic perspective, glossolalia is characterized by almost no recognizable words or semantic content, apart from biblical words and phrases, with an overrepresentation of a small phonemes number, accelerated speech output, and modification of accents and melody. Its phonemic properties have been said to resemble those of the language(s) of the speaker...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Laurent Tatu, Selma Aybek, Julien Bogousslavsky
Since its initial description in 1851, Munchausen syndrome has been widely used interchangeably with factitious disorder. Nevertheless, this syndrome is only one form of factitious disorder that is both severe and chronic. The syndrome was named after Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Baron von Münchhausen (1720-1797), a German nobleman who became famous as a narrator of false and exaggerated exploits. His name was progressively corrupted to Munchausen. Factitious disorders and Munchausen syndrome remain a great diagnosis challenge for physicians...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Silvio Galli, Laurent Tatu, Julien Bogousslavsky, Selma Aybek
This chapter is aimed at highlighting the recent findings concerning physiopathology, diagnosis, and management of conversion, factitious disorder, and malingering. Conversion disorder is the unintentional production of neurological symptom, whereas malingering and factitious disorder represent the voluntary production of symptoms with internal or external incentives. They have a close history and this has been frequently confounded. Practitioners are often confronted to medically unexplained symptoms; they represent almost 30% of neurologist's consultation...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Bartlomiej Piechowski-Jozwiak, Julien Bogousslavsky
The custom of Couvade and Couvade syndrome is a phenomenon observed since ancient times. Whether it constitutes a disease entity or it should be considered a ritual or custom remains a matter of debate. Historical transcripts shed light into the distinct origins and inclinations of couvade behaviors, some of them having religious inclinations. Currently, there are several views on this phenomenon including medical, psychoanalytic, and psychological. Some explain this syndrome as part of men's preparation and participation in pregnancy and post-partum period...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Montserrat G Delgado, Julien Bogousslavsky
Non-bizarre delusion, defined as a false belief possible although highly unlikely, is the main manifestation of delusional disorders, previously known as paranoia. Based on the predominant delusional themes, 5 main subtypes may be described - erotomanic, grandiose, jealous, persecutory, and somatic. We present here 2 main delusional disorders, the De Clérambault syndrome and the Othello syndrome, and another closely related to the previous ones - Folie à deux. In the De Clérambault syndrome, the main delusional theme is erotomanic type, related to passional delirium where the patient has strong sexual feelings towards another person and has the belief that this other person is deeply in love with him or her...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Alain Barrelle, J-P Luauté
The delusional misidentification syndromes (DMS) are a group of disorders, characterized by patients mistaking the identity of people they know, although they recognize them physically. The term DMS is an umbrella term which may cover disorders whose definition extends to objects other than people, such as animals, places, or familiar material objects. The most common and best known DMS is Capgras syndrome. In this disorder, the misidentification leads to the delusional conviction that a close friend or relative has been replaced by an identical - or almost identical - "double," whose original has disappeared...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Sebastian Dieguez
Cotard's syndrome is often described as the delusional belief that one is dead or non-existent. However, Jules Cotard's initial description (1880) of the "delusion of negations" was much richer and also involved delusions and claims of immortality and enormity, feelings of damnation, and illusions of bodily dissolution and transformation. Alternatively conceived as an extreme case of depression, hypochondria, or psychosis, the condition is considered rare and remains poorly understood. Cotard himself provided a taxonomy and several explanations for the condition, focusing on its distinction from classical persecutory delusions and suggesting that it could be a kind of reversed grandiosity...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Sebastian Dieguez
Ganser's syndrome is a rare and controversial condition, whose main and most striking feature is the production of approximate answers (or near misses) to very simple questions. For instance, asked how many legs a horse has, Ganser patients will reply "5", and answers to plain arithmetic questions will likewise be wrong, but only slightly off the mark (e.g., 2 + 2 = 3). This symptom was originally described by Sigbert Ganser in 1897 in prisoners on remand and labeled Vorbeigehen ("to pass by"), although the term Vorbeireden ("to talk beside the point") is also frequently used...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
François Boller, Daniel S Birnbaum, Nicoletta Caputi
Descriptions of hallucinatory phenomena have figured prominently since the beginning of recorded history. Jean Etienne Esquirol (1772-1840) is usually credited for having introduced the term in 1817, differentiating between hallucinations and illusions. Both are wrong perceptions, but in illusions, an external stimulus is always present whereas hallucinations are perceptions that occur in the absence of corresponding sensory stimuli. They occur in a variety of conditions but more often in the mentally ill, especially in schizophrenia where hallucinations, particularly auditory hallucinations represent for many, such as Henri Ey one of the cardinal features...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Claudio L Bassetti, Panagiotis Bargiotas
Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is a brain disorder, characterized by the dream enactment during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep due to a lack of physiologic muscle atonia and increased muscle twitching. Schenk was the first to describe this disorder in 1986; however, few authors reported in the 1970-1980s loss of physiological muscle atonia combined with dream enactment in the course of brainstem disorders and as a consequence of alcoholism and antidepressant treatment. RBD affects less than 1% of the adult population, but can be found in up to 25-50% of neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, multisystem atrophy, and dementia with Lewy body...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
M Béreau, L Tatu
Different eponyms such as "Wood syndrome," Meige syndrome, "Brueghel syndrome," "Blepharospasm plus syndrome" have been used to describe segmental craniocervical dystonias. These facial and/or oromandibular movement disorders are characterized by muscle contractions and spasms involving eyes, facial region, and sometimes pharynx, jaw, floor of the mouth, and tongue. The pathophysiology of craniocervical dystonia is poorly understood, but abnormal plasticity and impaired inhibition are suspected. Injection of botulinum toxin appears to be the best therapeutic option for treating segmental craniocervical dystonia...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Frédéric Assal
Diogenes syndrome (DS) is not a specific disease but a real neurobehavioral syndrome, characterized by severe domestic squalor, pathological hoarding, lack of insight into the condition, and no need for help. DS can be secondary when associated to psychosis or bipolar disorder, or primary when it occurs as a single entity, usually in the elderly. DS is a clinically complex transnosographic syndrome for which multidimensional approaches need to be considered: medical, psychiatric, neurological, social, scientific, and ethical...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
Douglas J Lanska
In 1937, Heinrich Klüver and Paul Bucy described a dramatic behavioral syndrome in monkeys after bilateral temporal lobectomy. The full Klüver-Bucy syndrome (KBS) - hyperorality, placidity, hypermetamorphosis, dietary changes, altered sexual behavior, and visual agnosia - is evident within 3 weeks following operation. Some KBS features (i.e., hyperorality, placidity, hypermetamorphosis) persist indefinitely, whereas others gradually resolve over several years. Klüver and Bucy were initially unaware of an earlier report of KBS by Sanger Brown and Edward Schäfer in 1888...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
M Béreau
Little is known about the neurological control of human sexual behavior. Investigating and measuring this behavior by using quantitative and objective methods is difficult. Insights from lesion studies contribute to analyze the effects of neurological disorders on human sexual behavior. In this chapter, we focus on frontal lobe lesions, brain injuries, epilepsia, dementia, and Parkinson disease to describe human sexual behavior disorders, in order to highlight cortical and subcortical brain regions and neural networks involved in human sexual behavior...
2018: Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience
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