Towards understanding Cotard s syndrome: an overview

Author(s): Hans Debruyne, Kurt Audenaert

Cotard’s syndrome is a rare disorder. The central feature is a nihilistic delusion concerning one’s own body (including loss of body parts, being dead or not existing at all). The syndrome is not mentioned in DSM-IV-TR or the International Classification of Diseases-10, since there is growing consensus that the syndrome is part of an underlying disorder. Although not a separate diagnostic entity, the phenomenologic study of rare monothematic delusional disorders (such as Cotard’s syndrome) remains important to have a better understanding of the pathophysiology of delusions. In this report, historical aspects, classification, course and epidemiology are briefly reviewed, different pathophysiologic hypotheses are described and therapeutic options are discussed


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