Article Text

PDF
Charles Bonnet syndrome – disturbing ‘playthings of the brain’
  1. Christopher Kennard
  1. University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christopher Kennard, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; chris.kennard{at}ndcn.ox.ac.uk

Statistics from Altmetric.com

In his paper on page 518 of this issue, Dr Eric Nieman describes his medical journey of a progressive visual deterioration due to glaucoma, accompanied by the gradual development of increasingly distressing visual hallucinations - the Charles Bonnet syndrome.

The eponym was coined by de Morsier in the 1930s, in recognition of Charles Bonnet (1720–1793), a renowned Genoese naturalist, philosopher and biologist, who in 1769 described the hallucinatory experiences of his grandfather Charles Lullin, a 89-year-old magistrate. Lullin described his subjective perception of visions of people, animals, and buildings of various shapes and sizes, associated with visual deterioration after bilateral cataract surgery. He had normal cognition and realised his visions were ‘fictions’ of his brain.1

Charles Bonnet syndrome occurs predominantly in elderly, visually impaired people. Around 11%–15% experience complex visual hallucinations, whereas a significantly greater number, between 41%–59%, experience elementary visual phenomena. Such individuals do not have psychological or cognitive …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Me and my neurological illness
    Eric Nieman