Behavioural disorders after acquired brain injury
Keywords:Behavioural disorders, disinhibition, apathy, organic personality disorders, neuropsychology
Behavioural disorders (BD) after brain injury are some of the most relevant issues in neuropsychology. This relevance is remarkable in three main areas of clinical neuropsychology: conceptual issues, assessment and rehabilitation. (1) BD is an heterogenous group of superficially defined symptoms, traditionally included under the term Frontal Lobe Syndrome. Its fractionning into subtypes allowed a more comprehensive and specific approach to BD, although evidence is still not able to explain its causes. Recent theoretical approaches (somatic markers, Theory of mind) suggest interesting directions for research in this area. (2) Assessment of BD is not as developed as other areas (memory, attention...), and it lacks of standarized tests with satisfying psychometric requirements. (3) Rehabilitation processes are severily interfered by BD, which are generally chronic and may even get worse with the years. Behaviour Therapy and psychopharmacological interventions have proven some usefullness in symptom reduction, although in symptoms of diminished motivation (apathy) treatment often fails to succeed.