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January 1983

The Kochleffel Syndrome: Historical Review and Manifestation of an Old-New Clinical Entity

Author Affiliations

Kfar-Saba, Israel

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(1):135. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350010145026

The Kochleffel syndrome (KS) has been around as long as man has, and, although its name is not widely known, a description of its symptoms usually brings on a quick smile of recognition. (Kochleffel is derived from the German words for cooking [Koch] and spoon [Loeffel]. A Kochleffel is a busybody—someone who stirs things and people up.)1 Kochleffel syndrome is widespread and relatively contagious and is transmitted by an as yet unidentified agent, usually by word of mouth. Its manifestations are protean and may mimic several other illnesses. Its most striking form is remarkably abrupt in onset and transforms the most charming person instantly into an excited, churning, and brewing creature with agitated behavior and delusions that curiously mimic those of paranoia. These delusions are so powerful that they force the patient to externalize them, preferably to someone of similar or higher status. Attempts at tranquilizing the patient are