- The term paracoenesthesiopathy comes from the Greek prefix para (beside, near, resembling, accessory to, beyond, apart from, abnormal), the medical Latin noun coenesthesis - which in turn comes from the Greek words koinos (communal) and aisthanesthai (to notice, to perceive) - and the Greek noun pathos (suffering). The term coenesthesis was used during the era of classic psychiatry to denote the 'common sensation' or 'common general sensibility' arising from the sum of all bodily sense impressions. (For a further explanation of the term coenesthesis, see the entry Coenesthetic hallucination.) The French term paracénesthésiopathie was introduced in or shortly before 1905 by the French neurologists Paul Camus and G. Deny to denote a qualitatively altered awareness of one's coenesthetic feelings. In their 1905 paper, these authors render the following clinical description of paracoenes-thesiopathy, given by a woman experiencing the subjective sensation ofhaving changed into a dog. "Doctor, I swear to you, I have totally changed, I am no longer a woman, but a dog, my teeth are no longer human teeth, the interior of my body has changed completely, it is a dog's body; look at my head, it is not the same anymore." Camus and Deny classify paracoenesthesiopathy as a variant of *coenesthesiopathy, and use the term in opposition to the terms * acoenesthesiopathy, * hypercoenesthesiopathy, and hypocoenesthe-siopathy. Today paracoenesthesiopathy would probably be classified as a * somatic hallucination or illusion, a disorder of embodiment, or a disorder of corporeal awareness. Pathophysio-logically, paracoenesthesiopathy is associated primarily with lesions affecting one or more parts of the parietal cortex involved with embodiment and corporeal awareness (more specifically, the premotor cortex). Paracoenesthesiopathy should not be confused with * clinical lycanthropy, i.e. the delusional conviction (rather than the sensory impression) that one has changed into awolf.ReferencesArzy, S., Overney, L.S., Landis, T., Blanke, O. (2006). Neural mechanisms of embodiment: Asomatognosia due to premotor cortex damage. Archives ofNeurology, 63, 1022-1025.Deny, G., Camus, P. (1905). Sur une forme d'hypochondrie aberrante due à la perte de la conscience du corps. Revue Neurologique,9, 461-167.Deny, G., Camus, P. (1905). Sur un cas de délire métabolique de la personnalité lié à des troubles de la cœnesthésie. Archives de Neurologie, 20, 257-268.Hécaen, H., de Ajuriaguerra, J. (1952). Méconnaissances et hallucinations corporelles. Intégration et désintégration de la somatognosie. Paris: Masson et Cie., Éditeurs.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.