Factitious Usher Syndrome: A New Type of Factitious Disorder

Marc D. Feldman, MD; Ilene D. Miner, MSW, LCSW-R


June 30, 2008


Perhaps no diagnosis is as daunting for physicians as factitious disorder, called "Munchausen syndrome" in its most severe and chronic form. Patients with factitious disorder feign, exaggerate, or self-induce illness. Unlike malingerers, who pursue external gains from their behavior, such as opioid medications or disability payments, patients with factitious disorder have the goal of assuming the "patient" or "victim" role. It has been pointed out that essentially any ailment can be falsified. For instance, reports in the professional literature include factitious quadriplegia[1] and factitious breast cancer resulting in mastectomy.[2] In this report, we document the occurrence of factitious Usher syndrome, a form of deafblindness, in a middle-aged woman. A PubMed review revealed only our earlier report of 2 cases of feigned deafblindness.[3] However, this is the first documented case in which the patient alleged Usher syndrome.




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