CURRENT concepts concerning organic behavior disorders in children have arisen from the association of several specific behavioral patterns with antecedent cerebral pathology such as encephalitis and head injury. Termed "organic driveness" by Kahn and Cohen in an early and important paper, this syndrome was characterized by restless overactivity, impulsiveness, abrupt clumsy movements, and explosive release of voluntarily inhibited activity.1 Although no encephalitic history preceded onset of symptoms in the cases presented by these authors, the behavioral picture so resembled that which followed typical attacks of encephalitis lethargica that the syndrome was considered by them to be the result of a subacute encephalitis affecting brain stem and basal ganglia. Numerous reports have further defined a more or less distinct pattern of behavioral deviations usually including overactivity, easy distractibility and short attention span, unpredictable performance, extreme emotional responses, impulsiveness, perseveration, antisocial behavior, and poor arithmetic ability.2 4 In
Stevens JR, Sachdev K, Milstein V. Behavior Disorders of Childhood and the Electroencephalogram. Arch Neurol. 1968;18(2):160–177. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470320062007
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: