Charles Bonnet Syndrome
Other Known Aliases – visual release hallucinations
Definition – symptoms of visual hallucinations that occur in patients with visual loss
Clinical Significance – these release hallucinations can be simple, non-formed images (such as lines, flashes, shapes, etc.) or the can be formed images (such as people, animals, scenes, etc.). These patients can often be missed diagnosed as psychosis or early dementia. Diagnosis is made in the absence of other psychiatric illness or other causes of hallucinations.
History – Named after Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), who was a Genevan naturalist who was a lawyer by trade, but fascinated by the natural sciences. He spent the majority of career observing and studying insects, germ theory, and philosophy. He described the eponym that bears his name in 1760 in his book “Essai analytique sur les facultés de l’âme“, where he described the hallucinations of his 87yo grandfather who was nearly blind from cataracts
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