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Uprooting and late-life psychosis

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Biographical information was collected on 60 patients suffering from late-onset (>50 years) paranoid psychosis (with and without hallucinations), 38 by chart review and 22 by personal examination. Of the pateints 28 (47%) had been war refugees expelled from the eastern territories that Germany lost after World War II. This is more than twice the rate of the Bavarian general population. The onset of paranoid symptoms was usually 3 or 4 decades after immigration into western Germany. Among patients with Alzheimer's disease and with endogeneous depression the proportion of former war refugees was significantly lower (22% each). The possible relevance of early uprooting and expulsion to the development of latelife paranoid psychosis is examined.

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Fuchs, T. Uprooting and late-life psychosis. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Nuerosci 244, 126–130 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02191885

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Key words

  • Late paraphrenia
  • Early-life trauma
  • Uprooting
  • Expulsion