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The cultural context of visual hallucinations
  1. W D Knight,
  2. N C Fox,
  3. M N Rossor,
  4. J D Warren
  1. Dementia Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK
  1. Dr Jason Warren, Dementia Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, 8–11 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; jwarren{at}


Visual hallucinations (VH) are a cardinal neuropsychiatric symptom and often have important diagnostic implications. The interpretation of VH is influenced by the patient’s social and cultural milieu, but the impact of socio-cultural factors on the interpretation, presentation and detection of VH has been little studied. When patients exhibit VH and other neuropsychiatric phenomena, appropriate sensitivity to the role of cultural factors is an important determinant of the success of the medical consultation. We discuss this issue using three illustrative cases.

  • cultural
  • dementia
  • hallucinations

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Informed consent was obtained for publication of the persons’ details in this report

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