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NEUROLOGICAL FACTORS IN VIOLENT BEHAVIOR (THE DYSCONTROL SYNDROME) (FROM VIOLENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY, 1978, BY ROBERT L SADOFF - SEE NCJ-53974)

NCJ Number
53977
Author(s)
F A ELLIOTT
Date Published
1978
Length
28 pages
Annotation
USING 70 CASE STUDIES OF PERSONS TREATED FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE, A DOCTOR PRESENTS AN ARGUMENT LINKING VIOLENT BEHAVIOR TO THE DYSCONTROL SYNDROME, AN ORGANIC DISEASE WHICH MANIFESTS ITSELF IN EXPLOSIVE, UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE.
Abstract
CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT EXPLOSIVE RAGE OFTEN RESULTS FROM DISORDERS AFFECTING THE LIMBIC SYSTEM, A SYSTEM INTIMATELY CONCERNED NOT ONLY WITH THE EXPRESSION OF EMOTION BUT ALSO WITH THE NEURAL CONTROL OF VISCERAL FUNCTION AND CHEMICAL HEMEOSTASIS. THE ORGANIC DYSCONTROL SYNDROME CAN OCCUR AT ANY AGE BUT IS MOST COMMON IN ADOLESCENCE AND EARLY ADULT LIFE. SOME OF THE 70 PATIENTS REPORTED A PREMONITION THAT AN ONSET OF RAGE IS OCCURRING WHILE OTHERS EXPERIENCE THE ATTACK WITHOUT WARNING. VIOLENCE ACCOMPANYING RAGE MAY BE VERBAL OR PHYSICAL AND CAN BE EXPRESSED BY SHOUTING PROFANITY, BITING, GOUGING, SPITTING, ETC. PATIENTS WITH THE ORGANIC DYSCONTROL SYNDROME FALL INTO TWO GROUPS, THOSE WITH A HISTORY OF TEMPER TANTRUMS IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD THAT PERSISTS INTO ADOLESCENCE AND ADULT LIFE AND THOSE WHO BECOME SUBJECT TO EXPLOSIVE RAGES AS A SEQUEL TO BRAIN INSULT OR METABOLIC DISORDER. THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HEAD TRAUMA, MINIMAL BRAIN DYSFUNCTION, EPILEPSY, BRAIN TUMORS AND INFECTIONS, CEREBRAL VASCULAR DISEASE, MISCELLANEOUS NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES, AND ENDOCRINE AND METABOLIC DISORDER AND THE ORGANIC DYSCONTROL SYNDROME ARE DESCRIBED, AND DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF THE SYNDROME IS DISCUSSED. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)