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This retrospective cross-sectional study aimed to characterise various aspects of Charles Bonnet syndrome hallucinations among patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Five hundred and ten consecutive patients were asked a screening question to determine if they had ever suffered from visual hallucinations. Patients who responded affirmatively were given a more detailed questionnaire regarding their demographics, the characteristics of the hallucinations and their emotional response to them. Forty-five patients (9%) were felt to have symptoms consistent with Charles Bonnet syndrome. Another 45 patients who responded negatively to the screening question were used as controls. Other than median age, their demographics were not significantly different to those of the symptomatic patients. The study adds little to what is already known about Charles Bonnet syndrome but does serve to highlight two important points. First, the hallucinations may vary greatly in appearance. Second, around 30% of people are distressed by the hallucinations. The authors rightly point out that many patients with AMD are unaware of Charles Bonnet syndrome and may not report symptoms spontaneously. They suggest that patients with AMD are screened periodically to identify those who may benefit from specific treatment.

Clinical characteristics of the charles bonnet syndrome in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration: The importance of early detection.
Esteves Leandro J, Beato J, Pedrosa AC, et al.
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Ed Rule

Wrexham Hospital, UK.

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