Vol. 3, No. 1 , 1997, Page 6


Studies suggest that impaired function of the brain's frontal lobes contributes to a host of pathological behaviors ranging from hyperactivity to homicide (See Crime Times, Vol. 1, No. 1/2, Page 1 , Crime Times, Vol. 1, No. 4, Page 6 and Crime Times, Vol. 2, No. 3, Page 7 ). Now, A. Wallace Deckel et al. report evidence that frontal lobe dysfunction also is a risk factor for destructive drinking-and that this dysfunction may be detectable in at-risk individuals before they become problem drinkers. In addition, Deckel et al.'s research offers clues as to why alcoholism and sociopathic behavior often go hand-in-hand. Among their findings:

EEGs and neuropsychological test data, the researchers say, showed an association between impaired frontal lobe function, ASP, and childhood behavior problems. ASP and childhood conduct disorder and hyperactivity were associated with greater activation or right relative to left frontal EEG activity.

Their findings, the researchers say, suggest that disturbed frontal lobe function "may be one common biological ground" linking antisocial personality disorder and alcohol abuse.


"Behavioral and cognitive measurements predict scores on the MAST: a 3-year prospective study," A. Wallace Deckel and Victor Hesselbrock, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. and anterior brain functioning in young men at risk for developing alcoholism," A. Wallace Deckel, Victor Hesselbrock, and Lance Bauer, Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 19, No. 2, April 1995, pp. 476-481; "Anterior brain dysfunctioning as a risk factor in alcoholic behaviors," A. Wallace Deckel, Lance Bauer and Victor Hesselbrock, Addiction, 90, 1995, pp. 1323-1334; and "Antisocial personality disorder, childhood delinquency, and frontal brain functioning: EEG and neuropsychological findings," A. Wallace Deckel, Victor Hesselbrock, and Lance Bauer, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 52(6), 1996, pp. 639-650. Address for all: A. Wallace Deckel, ARC, Department of Psychiatry, Mail Code 2103, University of Connecticut Medical School, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030, e-mail: Deckel@psychiatry.uchc.edu.

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