DI: a Babel of names and milestones in research

Yr of publicationAuthor(s) (country)aName used for DIMilestones and new concepts
1894Thibierge (F)Les acarophobesFirst clear description
1896Perrin (F)Des névrodermies parasitophobiquesMatchbox sign (first)
1920Gamper (D)Psychosen des RückbildungsalterOrganic origin (hypothesized thalamic dysfunction)
1921Pierce (USA)Entomophobia
Myerson (USA)Acarophobia
1923Giacardy (F)Un cas d'acarophobie familialeSPD (first)
1925Grøn (FIN)Les dermatophobiesPsychogenic origin
1928MacNamara (USA)“Cutaneous … hallucinations”Hallucinations plus secondary delusions; affection of pets (first)
1929Schwarz (D)Circumscripte HypochondrieOccurs as a depressive symptom
1930Mallet and Male (F)Délire cénesthesique
1934Smith (USA)Hallucinations of insect infestation
1935Wilhelmi (D)Ungezieferwahn
1938Ekbom (S)Der präsenile DermatozoenwahnDistinct disorder (first), organic/involutional,
Hase (D)Pseudoparasitismus    illusion plus secondary delusions
1944DavisInsect hallucination
1946Wilson and Miller (USA)Delusion of parasitosisFour different etiologies
1949Harbauer (D)Dermatozoenwahn (Ekbom)Presenile or in depression, response to ECT (first), illusions or hallucinations occur
1954Bers and Conrad (D)Die chronische taktile HalluzinoseMultiple etiologies, mostly organic, with emphasis on hallucinations
Böttcher (D)Das Syndrom des wahnhaften UngezieferbefallsFirst to gather cases from PCOsb emphasizes syndromal nature
1960Döhring (D)UngezieferwahnSample of 77 cases reported by a microbiologist
1962Liebaldt and Klages (D)Isolierte taktile DermatozoenhalluzinoseOnly postmortem histology (thalamocortical dysconnection)
1965Tullett (UK)Delusions of parasitosisSeparate entity, “monosymptomatic hypochondriasis”
1966Schrut and Waldron (USA)Delusory parasitosis (entomo-, acaro-, or dermatophobia)Psychoanalytical model (unconscious sexual guilt)
1970Hopkinson (CAN)Delusions of infestationFirst response to antidepressant in major depression
1975Ganner and Lorenzi (D)Der Dermatozoenwahn“Independent” and “as a concomitant phenomenon”
Riding and Munro (UK)Monosymptomatic hypochondriacal psychosisFirst response to pimozide (case 3)
1978Annika Skott (S)Delusions of infestation; Dermatozoenwahn (Ekbom's syndrome)First real study, “primary delusion,” organic (>50% of cases)
1979Frithz (S)Delusions of infestationFirst study with depot antipsychotics
1982-1986Ungvari and Vladar (H), Hamann and Avnstorp (S)Dermatozoenwahn, delusion(s) of infestationOpen and placebo-controlled studies with pimozide
1983Lyell (UK)Delusions of parasitosisFirst and largest survey; DI starts from senile pruritus
1985Berrios (UK)Delusional parasitosisFour pathogenetic mechanisms, a variety of etiologies
1986Bourgeois (F)Syndrome d'Ekbom et délires d'infestation cutanéeLarge survey of French dermatologists
1987Renvoize et al. (UK)The syndrome of delusional infestationEmphasis on syndromal nature
1989Musalek (A)DermatozoenwahnFirst interdisciplinary outpatient clinic; only SPECT study
1991-1995Trabert (D)DermatozoenwahnOnly epidemiological study (D), meta-analysis of 1,223 cases
1994Srinivasan et al. (IND)Delusional parasitosisOpen study questioning superiority of pimozide
1995Gallucci and Beard (US)Delusions of parasitosisResponse to atypical antipsychotic risperidone (first) (n = 1)
2007Lepping et al. (UK)Delusional parasitosisSystematic review of antipsychotics in DI (first)
2008Freudenmann and Lepping (D)Delusional parasitosisMeta-analysis of cases treated with atypical antipsychotics (first)
Huber et al. (I)Delusional parasitosisStructural MRI study (first)
  • a F, France; D, Germany; USA, United States; FIN, Finland; S, Sweden; UK, United Kingdom; CAN, Canada; H, Hungary; A, Austria; IND, India; I, Italy.

  • b PCO, pest control officer.