Kulver-Bucy Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease

Christine Kennard Health Pro
  • Kulver-Bucy syndrome is a rare syndrome that can co-exist with Alzheimer's disease. Brain damage causes disinhibited behaviors such as inappropriate sexual behaviors including fondling, groping others, compulsive or intrusive sexual propositions. This grabbing, repetitive actions can also occur with objects including unhygeinic things such as garbage and feces.

    Kulver-Bucy syndrome can also involve cravings such as gross over eating of certain foods or insisting on particularly foods especially carbs, sweets or fast foods. Antisocial behaviors such as using using profanity in public and the loss of normal fear and anger responses in common with the monkey models of this syndrome, but one also sees loss of memory with dementia, distractibility and seizures.

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    Visual agnosia, an inability to recognise familiar objects or what they are used for is also a feature of the syndrome.

    This syndrome (a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms) was first described by two scientists, Heinrich Klüver and Paul Bucy in 1937. The syndrome results from damage to parts of the brain, the bilateral anterior temporal lobes, including the amygdala.

    The most common cause is herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). With better treatments, anti-virals, and improved survival rates it is thought we could see more human cases. Other causes include infections such as tuberculous meningitis, listerial mengiococcal disease, head injury (mild to severe)., post epilepsy, surgical lesions and cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes

    The ones we are interested in is the dementias and these include frontotemporal dementia (Pick's disease) and Alzheimer's disease. Kulver-Bucy syndrome symptoms also include emotional blunting and flattening of mood.
    It is rare to see the full syndrome in humans but it is occasionally described in children.

    Patient care includes the careful monitoring to prevent over eating and obesity. The socially inappropriate sexual behavior, uninhibited and inappropriate sexual activity can lead to the involvement of the police.

    Treatments that can help include carbamazepine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Sudden behavioral or emotional changes after herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) treatment may indicate a relapse and a longer course of aciclovir may be required.

    The cognitive and behavioral disturbances after herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) are often severe. Some improvements can occur over a long time. Behavioral programs, routine and consistent nursing care can help minimize social exclusion but institutional care is often required.

Published On: July 03, 2013