Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;165(4):429-42. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07111774. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

Neurobiology of aggression and violence.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, USA. Larry.Siever@va.gov

Abstract

Acts of violence account for an estimated 1.43 million deaths worldwide annually. While violence can occur in many contexts, individual acts of aggression account for the majority of instances. In some individuals, repetitive acts of aggression are grounded in an underlying neurobiological susceptibility that is just beginning to be understood. The failure of "top-down" control systems in the prefrontal cortex to modulate aggressive acts that are triggered by anger provoking stimuli appears to play an important role. An imbalance between prefrontal regulatory influences and hyper-responsivity of the amygdala and other limbic regions involved in affective evaluation are implicated. Insufficient serotonergic facilitation of "top-down" control, excessive catecholaminergic stimulation, and subcortical imbalances of glutamatergic/gabaminergic systems as well as pathology in neuropeptide systems involved in the regulation of affiliative behavior may contribute to abnormalities in this circuitry. Thus, pharmacological interventions such as mood stabilizers, which dampen limbic irritability, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which may enhance "top-down" control, as well as psychosocial interventions to develop alternative coping skills and reinforce reflective delays may be therapeutic.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk