Charles Bonnet syndrome in older adults with age-related macular degeneration: Its relationship to depression and mild cognitive impairment

  • Hana Boxerman, Walter Wittich, Olga Overbury
  • British Journal of Visual Impairment, December 2014, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0264619614557529

Visual hallucinations in older adults with low vision - Charles Bonnet syndrome

What is it about?

We studied whether the experience of visual hallucinations due to Charles Bonnet syndrome in low vision patients is linked to depression or cognitive impairment.

Why is it important?

Many older adults with low vision experience visual hallucinations that are NOT symptoms of mental illness, but are called Charles Bonnet syndrome. Clients know that these visual experiences are not real, but are often uncomfortable acknowledging the experience due to stigma and stereotypes.


Dr Walter Wittich
Universite de Montreal

It remains difficult to study Charles Bonnet syndrome because many patients are unwilling to admit to visual hallucinations that they believe will make the appear mentally unreliable. We try to raise awareness about Charles Bonnet syndrome as simply acknowledging the existence of these visual experiences can often alleviate the associated anxiety.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Walter Wittich