Kluver Bucy Syndrome

What is Kluver Bucy Syndrome?

Alternatively known as bilateral temporal lobe disorder, Kluver Bucy syndrome is defined as a rare neurobehavioral disorder with potential human occurrence affecting men and women in the same way that results when there is brain failure from any of diverse factors involving the two sides of the medial temporal lobes. Above all, the brain area which is associated in the pathophysiology of the disorder is the amygdaloid body, a part of the brain which is situated in the subcortical zone of temporal lobe.


Affected individuals may suffer from loss of memory, visual distractibility and may exhibit strange behaviors such as improper sexual acts. It was named after the collaboration of German-American psychologist Heinrich Klüver with an American neuropathologist Paul Bucy in the field of neuroanatomy, particularly in their successful removal of the temporal lobes of the rhesus monkeys in their endeavor to find out it physiology in the year 1930s.

The human occurrence of the condition was initially recorded by H. Terzian and G.D. Ore in the year 1955 in patients who underwent temporal lobectomy.

Kluver Bucy Syndrome Symptoms

It is uncommon for humans to present all of the following manifestations of the disease. Clinically among humans, the disorder is presented by the following major signs and symptoms:

  • Subjects experiencing the syndrome show evidence of emotive dullness as most patients do not respond appropriately to external stimuli and only react to the environment with flat affect. Vocalization becomes less expressive. The person’s normal fear and anger feedback may become misplaced. This human manifestation can be considered identical to the changes in once naturally violent monkeys, which after developing bilateral lesions in the amygdala, deal with fear-provoking situations without display of fear and anger. Normally, human beings and snakes would instinctively alarm them; though in this case, they would voluntarily draw near them.
  • Individuals may have psychic blindness; a difficulty in recognizing people’s faces, objects and other visual information, a condition medically termed as visual agnosia. As a result, a substitute channel for them to identify objects is through oral compulsions.
  • Patients can be documented to have a tremendous weight gain. This is expected to be a consequence not of a satiety disorder; instead, this change is attributed to the subjects’ extreme and strong oral tendencies, urging themselves to hastily place into their mouths any items unfit for human consumption. A nearly irrepressible craving for food may also be regarded.
  • Affected humans may perhaps fail to publicly conform to ethics on social sexual paradigms as their sexual urges are heightened more than ever, obtaining sexual stimulation from atypical and morally unacceptable entities. This manifestation is parallel to affected monkeys exhibiting extremely bizarre sexual activities, with desire to get on with inanimate objects and same sex members.
  • Some may demonstrate excessive oral and tactile explorations. They may engage in bizarre behaviors like licking and touching which are intolerable in public.
  • Inconsistently, patients demonstrate hypermetamorphosis; where there is an uncontainable drive to spot and act in response to almost everything within view.
  • Short term memory loss is also noted.

Kluver Bucy Syndrome Causes

Absolute adaptation of the disease is very rare to happen in humans. However, injury to any part of the anterior temporal lobe of the brain can result to the fractional infliction of this condition. This could be an effect to a direct damage to the brain region itself or as a secondary condition of degenerative brain syndromes, neoplasm and brain infection which is most frequently viral in origin. The following are events and conditions which contribute to the damage of the bilateral anterior temporal horn, leading to the development of the disorder;

  • Accidents which induce craniocerebral injury
  • Post-traumatic etiologies
  • After a lobectomy procedure
  • Inadequate oxygen in brain tissues
  • Insufficient supply of blood in the brain
  • Infections, mostly viral in origin including acute herpes simplex encephalitis
  • Niemann Pick disease of the brain
  • Failure of the body to metabolize porphyrins
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Tuberculous meningitis
  • Juvenile neuronal lipofuscinosis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Progressive subcortical gliosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Conditions related to autism; Rett syndrome in particular

Kluver Bucy Syndrome Treatment

At the moment, there is no standard cure on hand. It may not be very serious, but treating the patient can really be demanding. If managed with adequate interventions, the clinical symptoms can gradually withdraw. Management for Kluver Bucy Syndrome is symptomatic and supportive, which mainly includes assistance in the performance of activities of daily living and the administration of approved medications like psychotropics. Several clinical characteristics of Kluver Bucy Syndrome may respond well to carbamazepine with clinical improvement. Patients may also be placed under occupational therapy in order for them to understand the management of their disease so that their interaction with the community is safe.

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