2010 issue 1


Volume 19, issue 1

Review article

Ganser’s syndrome

Waldemar Kryszkowski1, Monika Talarowska1, Kinga Bobińska1, Antoni Florkowski1, Piotr Gałecki1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Łodzi
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2010; 19(1): 47–51
Keywords: Ganser, syndrome, malingering, approximate answers, puerilism


Objective. The paper presents past and present classifications, forensic-psychiatric meaning of the Ganser's syndrome. Data from the ProQuest, ScienceDirect, PubMed databases (keyword "Ganser syndrome") and from available publications on the subject were taken into account.
Background. The syndrome was described for the fi rst time in 1898 by Sigbert Josef Maria Ganser. An analysis of earlier psychiatric classifications and current publications shows considerable changes over time in the approach to this syndrome. At present it is included among dissociative or conversion disorders (both in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV). Moreover, some authors classify the Ganser syndrome as prison psychosis, because it is most common among the accused and detained.
Conclusions. The Ganser syndrome is an important but still underestimated problem in psychiatry. Questions concerning Ganser's syndrome are especially important in the provision of forensic-psychiatric expert opinions, where this condition has to be differentiated from malingering and fake disorders. Despite established diagnostic criteria for the syndrome, many authors point out subjectivity in the evaluation of particular symptoms of Ganser's syndrome, which may frequently result in false-positive diagnoses and make comparisons across studies difficult.

Address for correspondence:
lek. Waldemar Kryszkowski
Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych UM w Łodzi
ul. Czechosłowacka 8/10, 92-216 Łódź
e-mail: borutta@interia.pl