Ekbom's syndrome represents a relatively uncommon neuropsychiatric condition characterized by the recurrent and bizarre fixed delusional belief to be infested by small organisms or even unanimated materials ('Morgellons disease'), without any objective evidence of infestation/parasitosis. The condition, mainly diagnosed in a nonpsychiatric setting, is supposed to be largely underestimated and, hence, undermanaged. The present comprehensive review aims at investigating Ekbom's syndrome, from a historical, epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic perspective, by providing diagnostic-treatment strategies in managing this condition in routine psychiatric clinical settings. The prototypical patient is a middle-aged woman (or a younger subject in those cases in which substance and/or alcohol abuse is implicated), often single, divorced or widowed (loneliness component and social withdrawal), who has already consulted several specialists due to skin lesions associated with a firm and delusional belief to be infested. The identification and diagnosis are challenging due to poor patient's insight, poor knowledge and collaboration between specialists and differential diagnoses to be considered before asking for a psychiatric referral. Management and treatment strategies mainly derive from isolated case reports or observational studies with a small sample size. Further randomized clinical trials should be performed to evaluate the efficacy of newer antipsychotic drugs, including long-acting injectable formulations.

Historical and clinical considerations on Ekbom's syndrome

Orsolini, Laura;Volpe, Umberto
2020

Abstract

Ekbom's syndrome represents a relatively uncommon neuropsychiatric condition characterized by the recurrent and bizarre fixed delusional belief to be infested by small organisms or even unanimated materials ('Morgellons disease'), without any objective evidence of infestation/parasitosis. The condition, mainly diagnosed in a nonpsychiatric setting, is supposed to be largely underestimated and, hence, undermanaged. The present comprehensive review aims at investigating Ekbom's syndrome, from a historical, epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic perspective, by providing diagnostic-treatment strategies in managing this condition in routine psychiatric clinical settings. The prototypical patient is a middle-aged woman (or a younger subject in those cases in which substance and/or alcohol abuse is implicated), often single, divorced or widowed (loneliness component and social withdrawal), who has already consulted several specialists due to skin lesions associated with a firm and delusional belief to be infested. The identification and diagnosis are challenging due to poor patient's insight, poor knowledge and collaboration between specialists and differential diagnoses to be considered before asking for a psychiatric referral. Management and treatment strategies mainly derive from isolated case reports or observational studies with a small sample size. Further randomized clinical trials should be performed to evaluate the efficacy of newer antipsychotic drugs, including long-acting injectable formulations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/306338
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