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Jules Cotard

Jules Cotard (June 1,1840 - August 19,1889) was a French neurologist who is best known for first describing the Cotard delusion, a patient's delusional belief that they are dead, do not exist or do not have bodily organs.

He studied medicine in Paris and later went on to work as an intern at Hospice de la Salpêtrière, where he worked for, among others, Jean-Martin Charcot. He became particularly interested in cerebrovascular accidents (commonly known as 'strokes') and their consequences and undertook autopsies to better understand how these affected the brain. In 1869 Cotard left Salpêtrière and at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War and joined an infantry regiment as a regimental surgeon. Cotard moved to the town of Vanves in 1874 where he remained for the last 15 years of his life. He made particular contributions to the understanding of diabetes and delusions. In August 1889, Cotard's daughter contracted diphtheria and he reportedly refused to leave her bedside for 15 days until she recovered. He eventually contracted the illness himself and died on August 19.

Jules Cotard served as the real life model for the character of Dr. Cottard in the Marcel Proust novel In Search of Lost Time.

External links and references

  • Berrios GE, Luque R (1995) Cotard's Delusion or Syndrome?: A Conceptual History. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 36(3), 218-23.
  • Pearn, J. & Gardner-Thorpe, C. (2002) Jules Cotard (1840-1889) His life and the unique syndrome which bears his name. Neurology, 58, 1400-1403.
  • Pearn, J. & Gardner-Thorpe, C. (2003) A biographical note on Marcel Proust's Professor Cottard. J Med Biogr, 11 (2), 103-6.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jules_Cotard". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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