Cotard's syndrome in adolescents and young adults is associated with an increased risk of bipolar disorder.
A case study is presented to illustrate a rare condition described by Cotard as "délire de négation". The central symptom is a nihilistic delusion with denial of one's own existence of oneself and that of the external world. In the present case, the syndrome became manifest as an escalation of a recurrent depressive disorder late in life. After initial resistance to therapy, the syndrome was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy. For the first time, we report the regional cerebral blood flow measured by 99mTc-HMPAO-SPECT before and after therapy. Before treatment, significant bitemporal hypoperfusion relative to the cerebellum was found, which was no longer demonstrable on remission.