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Patient Profiles of Criminal Behavior in the Context of Traumatic Brain Injury

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to significant post‐traumatic disturbances in mood and behavior, with the frontal lobes playing a key role in emotional and behavioral regulation. Injury to the frontal lobe can result in disinhibition and aggression which can result in police intervention and/or incarceration. We highlight four adult cases with a history of severe TBI with frontal lobe injuries and the presence of post‐TBI criminal behaviors. There is evidence to support an anatomical basis for aggressive behaviors, yet there are other risk factors to be considered. Behaviors must be investigated thoroughly by obtaining adequate pre‐ and post‐TBI psychiatric and psychosocial histories. By having a comprehensive understanding of aggression while appreciating the complex relationship between TBI, aggression, and premorbid risk factors, clinicians can more adequately treat patients with TBI, with the aim of potentially preventing criminal behaviors and recidivism.
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Keywords: aggression; forensic science; frontal lobe; incarceration; recidivism; risk factors; traumatic brain injury

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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