Pedophilia and temporal lobe disturbances

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2000 Winter;12(1):71-6. doi: 10.1176/jnp.12.1.71.


Paraphilias may occur with brain disease, but the nature of this relationship is unclear. The authors report 2 patients with late-life homosexual pedophilia. The first met criteria for frontotemporal dementia; the second had bilateral hippocampal sclerosis. Both were professional men with recent increases in sexual behavior. In both, 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography revealed prominent right temporal lobe hypometabolism. These cases and the literature suggest that bilateral anterior temporal disease affecting right more than left temporal lobe can increase sexual interest. A predisposition to pedophilia may be unmasked by hypersexuality from brain disease. These observations have potential implications for all neurologically based paraphilias.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Pedophilia / diagnostic imaging
  • Pedophilia / physiopathology*
  • Pedophilia / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18