Jean Marie Joseph Capgras (1873 – 1950) was a French psychiatrist.
Cagras chose Psychiatry as a speciality after being influenced by his cousin, Dr Alexis Pécharman. Placed first in the competitive examination of the ‘Internat des asiles de la Seine’ (1898) and at the ‘adjuvat des asiles d’aliénés’ (1902)
His 1909 book Les Folies raisonnantes, le délire d’interprétation, was written with his mentor Paul Serieux (1864-1947), and brought Capgras considerable notoriety. They described 19 cases of circumscribed delusional disorder and demonstrated that patients with this condition are insightless into their illness.
Served as President of the Sociéte medico-psycho-logique (SMP) and in 1931 managed to merge the three divided groups of French Psychiatrist into a single organisation
Best known for his description of the ‘syndrome d’illusion des sosies’ – Capgras syndrome in 1923
- Born 23 August 1873, Verdun-sur-Garonne
- Medical degree, Toulouse
- Chief Psychiatrist at the Masion-Blanche asylum
- 1929 – Sainte-Anne Hospital
- Died 27 January 1950, Dijon (Côte-d’Or)
Capgras syndrome (1923)
An uncommon syndrome in which a patient has a delusional belief that a person, usually a family member or friend, has been replaced by an imposter.
It is commonly found in psychiatric disorders, namely, paranoid schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and affective disorders. Capgras syndrome has also been observed in a number of medical disorders, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, central nervous system lesions, epilepsy, traumatic head injury, vitamin B12 deficiency, hepatic encephalopathy, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
Described as an ‘ennemi de tout dogmatisme’, Capgras published many papers on erotomania and was a determined adversary of the ideas defended by his famous colleague De Clérambault (De Clerambault Syndrome, 1885)
- Capgras J. Essai de reduction de la mélancolie en une psychose d’involution présénile. Paris Jouve et Boyer. 1900
- Sérieux, Paul, Capgras, J. Les Folies raisonnantes, le délire d’interprétation. Paris: J.-F. Alcan. 1909
- Capgras J, Reboul-Lachaux J. L’illusion des “sosies” dans un délire systématisé chronique. Annales médico-psychologiques, 1923; 81(13): 186 [Capgras syndrome]
- Capgras J, Reboul-Lachaux J. L’illusion des “sosies” dans un délire systématisé chronique. Bulletin de la Société clinique de médecine mentale, 1923; 11: 6-16 [Capgras syndrome]
- Postel J, Allen DF. Joseph Capgras (1873-1950). Psychopathology. 1994;27(3-5):121-2.
- Luauté, J.-P. Joseph Capgras (1873–1950). Sa vie, son œuvre. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, 2012; 170(10): 748–756.
- (Jean-Marie) Joseph CAPGRAS .Histoire de la psychiatre en France
- Alchessmist. Jean Marie Joseph Capgras (French Psychiatrist) 1873-1950.
- Jordan HW, Howe G. De Clerambault Syndrome (Erotomania): A Review and Case Presentation. J Natl Med Assoc. 1980 Oct;72(10):979-85.
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