Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Charles Bonnet Syndrome

  • Melissa ButtaroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1350


Bonnet syndrome

Short Description or Definition

Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) is a condition in which visually impaired individuals experience complex visual hallucinations. It is characterized by the following features (Eperjesi and Akbarali 2004):
  1. 1.

    The presence of well-formed, complex, repetitive, or persistent visual hallucinations

  2. 2.

    Full or partial retention of insight into the unreal nature of the hallucinations

  3. 3.

    The absence of hallucinations in other sensory modalities (e.g., auditory, olfactory)

  4. 4.

    The absence of delusions



The images associated with CBS are often rich in detail, and their clarity frequently contrasts sharply with sufferers’ blurred perception of real objects (Menon et al. 2003). They are sometimes referred to as “pseudohallucinations” to indicate that the person experiencing them is aware that the images are not real. Hallucinations may vary greatly in terms of color, clarity, movement, and bizarreness (Plummer et al. 2007)....
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References and Readings

  1. Eperjesi, F., & Akbarali, N. (2004). Rehabilitation in Charles Bonnet syndrome: A review of treatment options. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 87(3), 149–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ffytche, D. H., & Howard, R. J. (1999). The perceptual consequences of visual loss: ‘Positive’ pathologies of vision. Brain, 122(Pt 7), 1247–1260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hedges, T. R. (2007). Charles Bonnet, his life, and his syndrome. Survey of Ophthalmology, 52(1), 111–114.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lapid, M. I., Burton, M. C., Chang, M. T., Rummans, T. A., Cha, S. S., Leavitt, J. A., & Boeve, B. F. (2013). Clinical phenomenology and mortality in Charles Bonnet syndrome. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 26(1), 3–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Menon, G. J., Rahman, I., Menon, S. J., & Dutton, G. N. (2003). Complex visual hallucinations in the visually impaired: The Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Survey of Ophthalmology, 48(1), 58–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Plummer, C., Kleinitz, A., Vroomen, P., & Watts, R. (2007). Of Roman chariots and goats in overcoats: The syndrome of Charles Bonnet. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 14(8), 709–714.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rovner, B. W. (2006). The Charles Bonnet syndrome: A review of recent research. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology, 17(3), 275–277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Terao, T., & Collinson, S. (2000). Charles Bonnet syndrome and dementia. Lancet, 355(9221), 2168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA