How to recognize Kluver-Bucy syndrome?

Kluver-Bucy syndrome

Kluver-Bucy or the bilateral temporal lobe disorder is a rare neurological disorder that affects memory, behavior, social and sexual functioning of an individual. This neuropsychiatric illness is a consequence of injury or stroke, affecting the temporal lobes, particularly the amygdala and the hippocampus. The exact cause of Kluver-Bucy syndrome, however, can only be assessed by a professional like Neurologist in Lahore.

What is the cause of Kluver-Bucy Syndrome?

The pathophysiology of Kluver-Bucy lies in extensive damage to the temporal lobes of brain, secondary to brain trauma, tumor, brain infection or any other brain disease. Additionally, autoimmune diseases also affect parts of the brain resulting in Kluver-Bucy. The commonest infectious cause identified yet is the virus-induced herpes simplex encephalitis. Other causes include: Pick’s disease with frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, surgical lesion, tuberculous meningitis and Whipple’s disease.

It is rare, however, to have all parts of the syndrome as there is seldom such an extensive damage to the brain.

What is the history of Kluver-Bucy Syndrome?

The clinical features of KBS were reported initially in 1888 but in 1939, scientists worked to describe the complete syndrome. They used bilateral temporal lobectomy in a monkey to describe the clinical features of this disease. Later, in 1955, a 19-year old man underwent a bilateral temporal lobectomy for treatment of seizures.

What are the symptoms of Kluver-Bucy Syndrome?

In adults, Kluver-Bucy Syndrome is associated with hyperorality, eating disorder, visual agnosia and hypersexuality. Hyperorality in such patients causes strong urges to place objects in the mouth, along with socially inappropriate lickings. Such patients evaluate everything around them by putting it in their mouth like very small children instead of using their hands.

Such patients also exhibit hyper metamorphic—a raging need to explore everything. In monkeys with KBS, this was demonstrated by them viewing the same object again and again, with an eagerness to examine the objects. This is usually accompanied by lack of fear as the amygdala is removed. Anything that crossed the vision of such monkeys was explored by them.

The change in diet or eating disorder results in either bulimia or hyperphagia. According to research, animals with KBS showed a tendency to eat anything they were given, including large quantities of meat. After KBS, the behavior of a normal individual tends to become highly sexual—both alone and with others. This hyper-sexed state is a consequence of bilateral amygdaloid lesions, especially the lateral nucleus.

What are the treatment options for Kluver-Bucy Syndrome?

There is no permanent cure for KBS, and the patient can be difficult to manage. The treatment for this disorder is mainly supportive and based on the symptoms exhibited. Not all the symptoms are exhibited by a patient of KBS, therefore, treatment is tailored in every case. The mainstay of therapy is psychotropics and with treatment, these symptoms may decline, slowly. 

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as carbamazepine are shown to be of value. Relapse is indicated by a sudden emotional or behavioral change

Despite being a rare condition, KBS can be a complication of Herpes virus and can occur in people suffering from the latter. The diagnosis of KBS is often delayed, which is why timely help from Neurologist in Islamabad is much needed if neurological symptoms mentioned before are seen.


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