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J Korean Med Sci. 2003 Jun;18(3):462-5.

Delusional parasitosis as 'folie a deux'.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.


Delusional parasitosis is characterized by the unshakeable belief of being infested with tiny (microscopic) insects. Patients spend much time trying to get rid of the bugs and suffer from these symptoms. Patients prefer to go to dermatologists because they have a strong conviction over the presence of a somatic disease and do not accept any psychiatric advice for their complaints. Folie a deux or shared psychotic disorder (SPD) is a relatively rare syndrome, which has long attracted clinical attention. Delusional parasitosis is associated in 5-15% of SPD and can run within a family. We experienced delusional parasitosis as Folie a Deux between a mother and her son and successfully treated them through early psychiatric intervention. We believe that attention should be drawn to DP with SPD.

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