Do zombies really exist? Walking Corpse Syndrome (also known as Cotard’s Syndrome) is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which the afflicted person believe he or she is dead, missing their soul, organs, blood or other body parts, and being in a state of existence denial. Conversely, some patients may have delusions of immortality.
For people with this condition, entertainment like cable TV’s “The Walking Dead” may be too close for comfort.
Studies indicate that the disease is more prevalent in older patients and women with depression. It is also more likely to occur in patients with disorders such as:
- Bipolar disorders
- Brain injury
- Brain atrophy
- Seizure disorders
- Brain tumors
Lesions in the frontal and temporal regions (front and sides) of the right hemisphere of the brain have been associated with the disease. However, Cotard’s Syndrome is so rare that it is difficult to pinpoint the mechanisms that cause it.
Tests are used to diagnose associated diseases and rule out other conditions. Current treatment for Cotard’s Syndrome involves medication with antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Electroconvulsive therapy, in combination with medication, has been reported to be more effective than medications alone.
Fortunately, patients with Cotard’s Syndrome can experience a complete recovery, even in severe cases.
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