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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Dec;197(12):942-4. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181c22583.

Terminal lucidity in patients with chronic schizophrenia and dementia: a survey of the literature.

Abstract

In this article, we present the results of a literature survey on case reports of the unexpected return of mental clarity and memory shortly before death, which we have called "terminal lucidity." We focus specifically on terminal lucidity in mental disorders, of which we have found 81 case references. Of these, we were able to retrieve 49 case reports, most of which had been recorded before 1849. Thereafter, comparatively few reports of terminal lucidity have been published. Some more recent publications referred to terminal lucidity in patients suffering from schizophrenia and dementia. We draw parallels and distinctions between terminal lucidity and remissions attributable to febrile illness in neurosyphilis. We recommend in-depth studies on the psychopathology and neuropathology involved in terminal lucidity, since they might enable the development of both improved therapies and a better understanding of unresolved aspects of cognition and memory processing.

PMID:
20010032
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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