French Neurologist Jules Cotard: Cotard Syndrome

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Cotard syndrome was named after Jules Cotard. A French neurologist he called the condition le delire de negation (“negation delirium”). There are multiple levels from mild to severe. Cotard had formed a new type of depression, where one denies their own existence. When the area of the brain that recognizes faces is disconnected, with the area that associates emotions with those faces. This can also be caused from major depression with psychotic features, schizophrenia, or organic mental conditions.

In people 25 and under it has been considered to be associated with bipolar disorder. In an analysis of 100 cases the most prominent symptoms in Cotard Syndrome are: depressive mood (89%), nihilistic delusion concerning one’s own existence (69%), anxiety (65%), delusion of guilt (63%), delusion of immortality (55%), hypochondriac delusion (58%). The likelihood of contracting Cotard Syndrome increases with age. Women appear to be more vulnerable. Several organic conditions were also associated: dementia, typhoid fever, brain tumors, brain injury, and others.

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Symptoms may include analgesia and mutism. Having delusions of massive increase of body measures, which is described as Maniac Cotard Syndrome. If reached the state of intense fantasy, deception, and chronic depression is when it’s considered severe. Suicidal thoughts, belief that they no longer have a body, and already dead. Sometimes they believe that their body is rotting, occasionally believe that they’re immortal. There are several medications and treatments for this syndrome. One treatment is to see a mental health specialist.

Pharmacological monotheraphy such as amitriptyline, aripiprazole, duloxtine, fluoxetine, olanzapine, sulpiride, and lithium has been proven effective. The most effective rearmament proven thus far is electroconvulsive therapy. Complete recovery may occur spontaneously and as suddenly as it onset. From what I have read there hasn’t been any complications once recovered or even trying to recover. This syndrome is unpreventable because it is so rare scientist have yet to figure out what actually causes it. Yes it has been associated with other disorders but they have yet to discover the root of the syndrome.

Cotard Syndrome is very difficult to live with if you are trying to live a typical lifestyle. There was a case study about this 53 year old woman who was admitted to a psychiatric unit. Her family had called 911 because she was complaining about being dead, having rotting flesh, and wanting to be taken to the morgue to be with the rest of the dead. The family let the medical team take her away so she can be treated. They visited her on a daily to get her to eat meals they prepared. Cause when you have this syndrome one of the symptoms is starvation.

They see no point in eating if they are already dead. Till this day we have yet to know if she was ever cured. In conclusion Cotard is a very rare syndrome but very scary at the same time. I couldn’t possibly image how to deal with this if it was me or if someone I knew had it. Scientist are doing what they can to cure it and find out more about it so we as the public can be more aware about it. This task is very difficult though seeing how rare it is. I hope this paper was informative enough for you know and understand what Cotard Syndrome is.

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French Neurologist Jules Cotard: Cotard Syndrome. (2016, Dec 30). Retrieved from

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