Kluver Bucy syndrome in young children

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1998 Dec;100(4):254-8. doi: 10.1016/s0303-8467(98)00055-9.


For the first time, Kluver Bucy syndrome (KBS) is described in young children who had no environmental learning of sex. The syndrome has so far been noted only in adults after bilateral temporal lobe affection. A few of its components, especially the hypersexuality and hypermetamorphosis, are likely to manifest differently in very young children. Seven patients in the pre-pubertal age group, who developed KBS as a post-encephalitic sequelae, are described. The patients, 2.5-6 years old, suffered from acute herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) at 10 months-5.5 years of age and developed KBS on regaining consciousness and ambulation. Altered emotional behaviour, changes in dietary habits, hyperorality and hypersexuality were present in all, while psychic blindness and hypermetamorphosis were noted in a few of the patients. All showed marked indifference and lack of emotional attachment towards their close relatives. Apathy and easy distractibility were rare. Bulimia and strong urge to put non-food items into the mouth were common. Hypersexuality manifested as frequent holding of genitals, intermittent pelvic thrusting movements and rubbing of genitals to the bed on lying prone. Due to lack of environmental learning of sex and also, due to emotional and physical dependence on parents, the manifestations in young children showed modification over those of adults.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology*
  • Bulimia / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions
  • Encephalitis, Viral / complications*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / complications*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Syndrome
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology