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June 1969

Hyperphagia, Rage, and Dementia Accompanying a Ventromedial Hypothalamic Neoplasm

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Neurology, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York. Dr. Reeves is now at the Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1969;20(6):616-624. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480120062005

THE MAMMALIAN hypothalamus interposes itself between the rest of the brain and the endocrine system, and interrelates to each to regulate a large part of the organism's instinctive behavior and endocrine function. A rich experimental literature describes what happens to animal behavior and homeostasis when various parts of the hypothalamus are selectively stimulated or destroyed, and inferences from these observations are commonly extrapolated to man since opportunities rarely present themselves to study precise hypothalamic lesions in humans. The anatomy of the small but complex hypothalamus changes little between lower animals and man, lending confidence that comparisons of direct hypothalamic-endocrine functions may be valid. But the cerebral hemispheres of man are far more complex than in animals, so that detailed studies of humans with hypothalamic disease become particularly valuable in establishing the relevance of the behavioral aspects of the experimental studies.

This is a report of a young woman who underwent

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