Any of a group of psychotic illnesses involving delusions, distinct from paranoia and schizophrenia.
Kraepelin later coined the term paraphrenia to denote milder delusional syndromes, distinct from dementia praecox, that developed in middle and late life dementia praecox having an early onset with little subsequent deterioration.
Late paraphrenia, a term most prevalent in the British literature, usually refers to a first-episode delusional psychosis, developing after age 60, that is characterized by a broad affect; an intense mood of anxiety, suspiciousness, irritability, euphoria, or sadness; systematized delusional ideas; and few signs of cognitive dysfunction.
In one sample, the most common diagnoses among hospitalized violent geriatric patients were, in order of frequency, late paraphrenia, coarse brain disease of unspecified type, bipolar illness (manic), senile dementia, and alcoholic dementia (757).
An article about Edgar Allan Poe by Maurice Levy begins with the statement that only the daring write about Poe "without evoking his dipsomania, opiomania, cyclothymia, paraphrenia, and sado-necrophilia".
The word 'paraphrenia' comes from Greek roots meaning 'beside' and 'mind'.