What is Fregoli Syndrome? 5 Keys

He Fregoli Syndrome Is characterized by the assumption that known people are imitating others who are unknown.

The person may have the impression that some psychological characteristics of the people in their environment are transmitted from one person to another.

For example, you may confuse your father with someone unknown or believe that all people are the same.

History of Fregoli's syndrome

It was described in 1927 in the article Frégoli et schizophrenia syndrome of illusion And named after the Italian actor Leopoldo Fregoli, who was very much given to imitations and his ability to make great changes during his appearances in theatrical acts.

Leopoldo Fregoli

In the article the authors describe the case of a 27-year-old London woman who believed she was being pursued by two actors she often saw in the theater. She thought she was being chased into the shape of people she knew.


  • Illusions or delusions.
  • Visual memory deficit.
  • Deficit of self-control.
  • Deficit of self-consciousness.
  • Deficit of executive functions.
  • Deficit of cognitive flexibility.
  • History of convulsive activity.
  • Epileptic activity.

Delusional false identification syndromes

The delusional false identification syndromes have their origin in the impossibility of registering the identity of something, be it an event, place or even a person.

There are several types of these syndromes: syndrome of subjective doubles, intermetamorphosis syndrome, Capgras syndrome Or Fregoli syndrome.

However, all these syndromes have a common denominator: all are due to a malfunction of the processing of family information.

Capgras syndrome is the delusional belief that a friend, close person, or family member has been replaced by an impostor twin.

On the contrary, in Fregoli's syndrome, the person has the delusional belief that different people are actually one person.

Dopaminergic hyperactivation occurs in these syndromes and is therefore used Antipsychotics To control them.

Of the four syndromes, the least frequent is Fregoli, followed by that of Capgras. Even less frequent is the coexistence of both.

Their coexistence is most likely in couples whose members have mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar or other mood disorders.


Once it has been identified, it is very possible that medication has to be used, with antipsychotics being the first candidates.

In addition to antipsychotics, antidepressants and anticonvulsants may be prescribed in some cases.


Levodopa or L-DOPA

The Levodopa , Also known as L-DOPA is the precursor of several Catecholamines , Specifically the Dopamine , Epinephrine and norepinephrine.

It is used clinically to treat Parkinson's disease .

Clinical studies have found that the use of L-DOPA can lead to visual delusions and delusions.

After prolonged use of L-DOPA, delirium occupies almost all patient care. As the concentration of L-DOPA decreases, the numbers of delusions decrease.

It has been concluded that illusions related to antiparkinsonian medication are one of the main causes of Fregoli syndrome.

Brain injury

An injury to the right frontal or left temporo-parietal left may be the cause of Fregoli's syndrome.

Spin-shaped spin

Recent research has found that lesions in the right temporal lobe and fusiform gyrus may contribute to delusional false identification syndromes.


Papageorgiou, C., Lykouras, L., Ventouras, E., Uzunoglu, N., Christodoulou, GN, (2002l) performed a study of patients with SFID using P300 evoked potentials through which memory performance can be assessed Active.

They reported the finding of a significant attenuation of P300 in F4, P3 and Pz (65,66,67,68,69,70) with respect to healthy controls mainly in the regions of the prefrontal cortex (71).

Sustaining the hypothesis that the alteration in the active memory is responsible for the process of integration and processing of the perceived information.


  1. Tibbetts, Paul. "Symbolic Interaction Theory and the Cognitively Disabled: A Neglected Dimension."Jstor. Winter 2004. Web. 28 September 2011 Symbolic Interaction Theory and the Cognitively Disabled: A Neglected Dimension.
  2. Mojtabai R (September 1994). "Fregoli syndrome". Aust N Z J Psychiatry 28 (3): 458-62. Doi: 10.3109 / 00048679409075874. PMID 7893241.
  3. Ellis HD, Whitley J, Luauté JP (March 1994). "Delusional misidentification. The three original papers on the Capgras, Frégoli and intermetamorphosis delusions. (Classic Text No. 17)". Hist Psychiatry 5 (17 Pt 1): 117-46. Doi: 10.1177 / 0957154X9400501708. PMID 11639277.
  4. Stewart JT (January 2008). "Frégoli syndrome associated with levodopa treatment". Mov. Disord. 23 (2): 308-9. Doi: 10.1002 / mds.21843. PMID 18044770.
  5. Lykouras L, Typaldou M, Gournellis R, Vaslamatzis G, Christodoulou GN (July 2002). "Coexistence of Capgras and Frégoli syndromes in a single patient. Clinical, neuroimaging and neuropsychological findings". Eur. Psychiatry 17 (4): 234-5. Doi: 10.1016 / S0924-9338 (02) 00660-0. PMID 12231272.
  6. Papageorgiou C, Lykouras L, Ventouras E, et al. Psychophysiological differences in schizophrenics with and without delusional misidentification syndromes: A P300 study. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2005; 29 (4): 593-601.
  7. Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopoldo_Fregoli

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