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Erotomania : epidemiology and management.

Author(s): Kelly BD

Affiliation(s): Department of Adult Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. brendankelly35@gmail.com

Publication date & source: 2005, CNS Drugs., 19(8):657-69.

Publication type: Review

Erotomania is generally classified as a delusional disorder in contemporary classification systems (DSM-IV and ICD-10). The incidence of erotomania is not known, but that of delusional disorder in general has been reported as approximately 15 cases per 100,000 of the population per year, with a female : male ratio of 3 : 1. Both primary and secondary types of erotomania have been identified, the latter being associated with evidence of an aetiologically significant organic or psychiatric condition. The aetiology of primary erotomania is not yet fully understood, but neuroimaging, genetic studies and findings from evolutionary psychopathology hold considerable promise for a deeper and broader understanding of this condition.The initial management of secondary erotomania focuses on treating the underlying organic or psychiatric illness. The management of primary and secondary erotomania involves a combination of pharmacological treatments, psychosocial interventions and risk management strategies. In the past, the antipsychotic medication pimozide was commonly used, at least in certain countries (such as the US and Canada), despite a paucity of systematic studies of its use in this disorder. In recent years, there have been reports of positive therapeutic outcomes with atypical antipsychotics (risperidone, clozapine), which, as a result of their improved tolerability over older agents such as pimozide, will hopefully enhance patient acceptability and, thereby, improve clinical outcome. Despite this advance, there is still a strong need for controlled clinical trials of therapeutic strategies for primary erotomania and related syndromes.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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