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NeuroRehabilitation. 2002;17(4):297-310.

Agitation, aggression, and disinhibition syndromes after traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, USA.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently complicated by disinhibition and aggression. These often profound changes in personality, present obstacles to rehabilitative treatments and community reentry. Syndromal presentations may involve a loss of impulse control, spontaneous aggression, and dysphoric bipolar states. Common neuropathological findings of inferior frontal lobe dysfunction support both disinhibition and kindling models of TBI-induced aggression. Assessment of these highly disruptive symptoms requires detailed historical, clinical, and neuropsychological information to formulate appropriate strategies. Management of TBI-related aggression may involve pharmacological, environmental, and psychotherapeutic strategies that incorporate caregiver training and support.

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