Episodic rage and aggression attributed to frontal lobe seizures

J Ment Defic Res. 1989 Oct:33 ( Pt 5):369-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.1989.tb01491.x.


Episodic rage and aggression in mentally handicapped people have typically been very difficult to eliminate or even reduce. Behaviour modification programmes designed to reduce extremely aggressive outbursts are based on various theories which presume these behaviours are volitional. This paper considers the possibility that these behaviours are involuntary and probably due to frontal lobe dysfunction. Twenty extremely aggressive cases are reported which present the clinical picture of frontal lobe seizures. Specific eye, face, trunk and limb movements plus vocalizations are extracted from the neurologic literature on frontal lobe seizures. A similarity with Tourette syndrome is noted.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rage / physiology
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / physiopathology