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Behav Brain Res. 2005 Mar 7;158(1):159-66.

Association between violent behaviour and impaired prepulse inhibition of the startle response in antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, PO78, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. v.kumari@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Violent behaviour has a strong association with antisocial personality disorder (APD) and schizophrenia. Although developments in the understanding of socio-environmental factors associated with violence should not be ignored, advances in prevention and treatment of violent behaviour would benefit by improved understanding of its neurobiological and cognitive basis. The authors, therefore, investigated prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response in APD and schizophrenia in relation to a history of serious violence. The neural substrates of PPI, especially the hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus and basal ganglia, are implicated in violence as well as in APD and schizophrenia. The study included four groups: (i) patients with APD and a history of violence, (ii) patients with schizophrenia and a history of violence, (iii) patients with schizophrenia without a history of violence, and (iv) healthy subjects with no history of violence or a mental disorder. All subjects were assessed identically on acoustic PPI. Compared to healthy subjects, significantly reduced PPI occurred in APD, violent schizophrenia and non-violent schizophrenia patients. Although PPI did not significantly differentiate the three clinical groups, high ratings of violence were modestly associated with reduced PPI across the entire study sample. Violent patients with impulsive and premeditated violence showed comparable PPI. The association between violent behaviour and impaired PPI suggests that neural structures and functions underlying PPI are implicated in (inhibition of) violence.

PMID:
15680203
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2004.08.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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