One Patient, Two Rare Syndromes and A Mystery Diagnosis

Hyperfamiliarity for faces syndrome

Case of hyperfamiliarity for faces syndrome and deja vecu in 86-year-old.

An 86-year-old male patient presented with complaints of impaired memory and concentration with gait and olfactory problems. Initially these were the only complaints. However, he later also revealed that he had been feeling very depressed. Reason being that no one was able to diagnose what was wrong with him.

According to the patient’s doctor, Nishi Chandrasekaran, MBBS,

“Initially that was it. So we talked about these issues together and I suggested a few treatments, but as we got to know one another, the patient also revealed that he was very depressed.”

She further added,

“He believed that no one understood what was going on for him including his son, and he was even hesitant to talk to me. But, through follow-up questions, he finally revealed that the whole world felt familiar no matter where he went.”

The patient’s medical history revealed that every person he met over the past 6 months was someone he knew.

Although, he was unable to recall how he knew that person. Whereas according to his son, these people were complete strangers to him. His medical history led to the diagnosis of  hyperfamiliarity for faces (HFF) syndrome. Although a diagnostic feature of hyperfamiliarity of faces is seizures. The patient did not experience any episodes of seizure.

On investigating further the patient told his doctor that every television show she watched also felt like a rerun of identical actors, plots, scenes and settings.

“This included game shows with the host asking the same questions and the same contestants providing the same answers, as well as his other favorite shows like CSI NY. He complained to his son that all the TV shows were reruns, even though these shows were being broadcast for the first time,” said Chandrasekaran.

While most people are familiar with experiencing deja vu, this patient was experiencing deja vecu. 365 bet A syndrome in which a current situation feels like reality.

Investigation findings

The patient’s MRI showed gliosis in the right frontal lobe, encephalomalacia, white matter lesions and atrophy within the body of the corpus callosum. The findings were consistent with the diagnosis of disconnection syndrome, as pointed out by Dr. Chandrasekaran. She further added that the results of the patient’s clock drawing test were suggestive of either a visual perception abnormality or a parietal lobe defect.

Treatment included miratazapine for depression. He subsequently showed recovery from HFF and deja vecu after 9 months of being on the antidepressant. It was unclear why his symptoms resolved spontaneously. And the case still remains a medical mystery. However, symptoms of HFF syndrome and the perception of television reruns began and resolved at the same. This is suggestive of it being the same syndrome. Similarly, there have been previous cases of brain lesions associated with epilepsy and psychosis “disappearing”. Although, it hasn’t been described in HFF. جدول سباق الخيل

“One can only speculate that maybe with the depression being under control, and with positive reinforcement from family constantly reminding him and explaining the syndrome to him, that neuroplasticity came into play and the brain was somehow healed,” said Chandrasekaran.

She further added,

“It makes a huge difference to patients’ mental health when they know that their physician and their family understand the reason behind this unusual symptom and that they are not making up stories.” 


Two Rare Syndromes, One Patient in Rerun Hell

Previous articleA Fatal Complication of Marijuana!
Next articlePfizer Vaccine Effective Against Coronavirus Variants
Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here