Aggressive, socially disruptive and antisocial behaviour associated with fronto-temporal dementia

Br J Psychiatry. 1997 Feb;170:150-4. doi: 10.1192/bjp.170.2.150.


Background: Research suggests an association between frontal and temporal injury and antisocial conduct. We studied the frequency of antisocial behaviours in fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) where pathology is anterior frontal-temporal, compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD) where pathology is primarily posterior temporal-parietal.

Method: The presence of antisocial conduct was compared in 22 FTD versus 22 AD subjects. All FTD patients had anterior frontal or temporal hypoperfusion with single photon emission computed tomography, whereas those with AD had posterior temporal-parietal hypoperfusion.

Results: Ten FTD and one AD subject showed antisocial behaviours, which included assault, indecent exposure, shoplifting and hit-and-run driving. Three FTD subjects were arrested. This difference was highly significant (P = 0.004).

Conclusions: Degeneration of frontal and temporal lobes predisposes to antisocial behaviour. This study supports a relationship between frontal-temporal dysfunction and certain types of antisocial activities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Dementia / complications*
  • Dementia / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Xenon Radioisotopes


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Xenon Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime