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Cotard's Syndrome

Cotard's disorder is a sort of mental instability that makes a person to trust that he/she does not exist anymore. Patients may likewise trust that they have lost some of their body parts. The Cotard’s mental disorder is quite uncommon, thus, the information regarding its prevalence is not accessible. Notwithstanding, a review made in psychogeriatric patients in Hong Kong showed that 0.57% of them were affected by the Cotard’s disorder, as well as 0.62% of primary psychiatric patients in Mexica and 0.11% of patients with neurological mental disturbances.

 

The disorder mostly exists together with other mental issues such as Dementia, mental depression, brain tumors, Parkinson's sickness, traumatic brain damage among others. A precise etiology of the disease is yet to be discovered. Since this is a mental sickness issue, it does not necessarily harm the body. Nevertheless, it may instigate a weight loss in the patients and lead to the decrease of energy, sleep aggravation and self-starvation. Moreover, it may cause the non-predominant parietal lobe lesions.

There are numerous symptoms of the disorder. The main sign of illness is a nihilistic delusion, which is the tentative possibility of nonexistence or uselessness of body parts of the patient. In the meantime, it is firmly associated with the depression. Other symptoms incorporate self-destructive thoughts, restlessness, social withdrawal, misery, superfluous discourse, weight loss, laziness, low energy, feeling remorse and sin.

 

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The disease has severe sequelae. For instance, the patient can easily commit a suicide believing that he/she is already dead. The best treatment for Cotard’s disorder is the Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT). It is a superior choice compared to pharmacological treatment. Nevertheless, a pharmacological monotherapy incorporates medication like Aripiprazole, Duloxetine, Fluoxetine and Sulpiride, and, mainly, the combination strategies are used, for example, Clomipramine/Amitriptyline. Without a treatment, the patients are at high risk of death of starvation or committing suicide.

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