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July 5, 1971

Behavior and Brain Lesions

JAMA. 1971;217(1):83. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190010065033

To the Editor.—  In The Journal (216:1025, 1971) Mark et al discuss the relationship between abnormal brain function due to trauma and abnormal behavior. The case presented was that of a 27-year-old man who had worked steadily as a handyman for 11 years before he was fired, took to drinking as he had even as a teenager before a head injury, then committed a crime of violence, and finally suicide.I can only agree with Dr. Geschwind's statement that in such a case the relation between the brain lesion and the behavioral disturbance cannot be made with assurance.The border lines between neurology, pathologic neurophysiology, and psychiatry are much more vividly expressed in patients with Sturge-Weber disease with hemiparesis, seizures, and abnormal behavior patterns. After hemispherectomy, they have fewer or no seizures, a normal electroencephalogram, and personalities which are not in conflict with the environment. A patient presented in