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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 596-597
 

Vivid visual hallucinations in the visually impaired: Charles bonnet syndrome—An analog to the “Phantom-Limb Phenomenon”


Director, Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation, Australia

Date of Submission14-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance06-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication15-Apr-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Scot Muirden
Director, Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_878_20

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How to cite this article:
Muirden S. Vivid visual hallucinations in the visually impaired: Charles bonnet syndrome—An analog to the “Phantom-Limb Phenomenon”. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2021;24:596-7

How to cite this URL:
Muirden S. Vivid visual hallucinations in the visually impaired: Charles bonnet syndrome—An analog to the “Phantom-Limb Phenomenon”. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 25];24:596-7. Available from: https://www.annalsofian.org/text.asp?2021/24/4/596/313741




I read with interest the case report by Das et al.[1] of a male patient with long-standing glaucoma who begins experiencing striking phantom percepts.

The piece highlights the pronounced trepidation that many vision-impaired people encounter when unusual visual phenomena spontaneously appear. Furthermore, because the affected individual often fears the worst case scenario, namely psychiatric disturbance or neurodegenerative decline, it becomes incumbent upon clinicians to be cognizant of, and sensitive to, these factors. Routine screening for, and forewarning of, Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) amongst sight-impaired patients can potentially circumvent needless and protracted anxiety.

In the discussion section, the authors state:

“CBS has also been reported among patients with congenital blindness.”

An article by Mewasingh et al.[2] is drawn upon as support for this statement. However, in actuality, none of the children in this particular paper were born blind but rather acquired sudden—and often very significant—vision loss in their early years of life.

Our foundation is not aware of any case report demonstrating that CBS has occurred in instances of congenital blindness. In fact, to the contrary, it is widely held that CBS does not occur when a person is born blind.[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Prior visual experience appears to be a necessary precondition for CBS.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Das A, Babu GN, Gupta A, Kanaujia V, Paliwal, VK. Vivid visual hallucinations in visually impaired: Charles bonnet syndrome–An analog to “phantom-limb phenomenon”. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2020;23:734-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Mewasingh LD, Kornreich C, Christiaens F, Christophe C, Dan B. Pediatric phantom vision (Charles Bonnet) syndrome. Pediatr Neurol 2002;26:143-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Menon GJ. Complex visual hallucinations in the visually impaired: A structured history-taking approach. Arch Ophthalmol 2005;123:349-55.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ormond AW. Visual hallucinations in sane people. Br Med J 1925;2:376-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Charette S. Clinical Vignette. Proceedings of UCLA Health Volume 24, 2020. proceedings.med.ucla.edu [Internet]. University of California: Department of Medicine. [updated 2020 September 21; cited 2021 March 4]. Available from: https://proceedings.med.ucla.edu/index.php/2020/09/21/the-fuzz/.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Royal College of General Practitioners (UK). Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) –Visual Hallucinations associated with poor vision. RCGP.org.uk [Internet]. London: Royal College of General Practitioners. [updated 2015 February; cited 2021 March 4]. Available from: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/eyehealth.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Yosar J. What is Charles Bonnet syndrome, the eye condition that causes visual hallucinations? medicine.uq.edu.au [Internet]. The University of Queensland: Faculty of Medicine. [updated 2020 August 7; cited 2021 March 4]. Available from: https://medicine.uq.edu.au/article/2020/02/what-charles-bonnet-syndrome-eye-condition-causes-hallucinations.  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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