Cotard Syndrome in an Adolescent With a First Episode of Psychosis.
This case report describes a unique presentation of Cotard syndrome in an 18-year-old female patient experiencing first-episode psychosis. Cotard syndrome was first described in 1880 by Jules Cotard as a novel subtype of anxious depression and is presently understood as a rare cluster of mood and psychotic symptoms centered on nihilistic delusions including the absence of organs and a perception of being dead. Although rare, Cotard syndrome has been described in a variety of neurological and psychiatric illnesses, but it is most commonly seen in middle-aged adults with a history of chronic mood disorders. It is rarely reported in childhood or adolescence, and it has not previously been described in first-episode psychosis. This report describes a unique presentation of full Cotard syndrome in an adolescent patient experiencing first-episode psychosis without reported mood symptoms. The patient displayed limited improvement over the first week of treatment with quetiapine but improved rapidly during the second week of hospitalization after a medication change to risperidone. The patient’s rapid response to risperidone is unique, as most existing evidence suggests that electroconvulsive therapy is the most effective treatment for Cotard syndrome. This response indicates an opportunity for the implementation of a second-generation antipsychotic medication in patients with Cotard syndrome in areas where electroconvulsive therapy is not available.
Authors: Analise E McGreal, Matthew K Boles, Iveta Boyanchek