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September 23, 1974

Klüver-Bucy Syndrome: Successful Treatment With Carbamazepine

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurology and surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

JAMA. 1974;229(13):1782. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230510056026

IN 1937, Klüver and Bucy1 described a striking behavioral syndrome in rhesus monkeys after bilateral temporal lobe ablations. It consisted of (1) psychic blindness or visual agnosia, (2) strong oral tendencies, (3) hypermetamorphosis or excessive tendency to react to every visual stimulation, (4) decrease in aggressive behavior and fear reaction, and (5) hypersexuality. This syndrome has subsequently been reported in experimental studies on other animals.2 It has been reported in less than ten patients. Causes were bilateral temporal lobectomy3 and bilateral temporal lobe damage from degenerative disorders, trauma, and encephalitis.4 Lesser degrees of this syndrome are probably more common than realized because of the high incidence of bilateral temporal lobe damage in closed head injury. Unfortunately, practically no information is available about the treatment of patients with this condition.

We recently encountered a patient suffering from posttraumatic Klüver-Bucy syndrome whose condition deteriorated on standard drug therapy