Aggressiveness, violence, homicidality, homicide, and Lyme disease
Authors Bransfield RC
Received 25 October 2017
Accepted for publication 23 January 2018
Published 9 March 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 693—713
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder
Robert C Bransfield
Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, USA
Background: No study has previously analyzed aggressiveness, homicide, and Lyme disease (LD).
Materials and methods: Retrospective LD chart reviews analyzed aggressiveness, compared 50 homicidal with 50 non-homicidal patients, and analyzed homicides.
Results: Most aggression with LD was impulsive, sometimes provoked by intrusive symptoms, sensory stimulation or frustration and was invariably bizarre and senseless. About 9.6% of LD patients were homicidal with the average diagnosis delay of 9 years. Postinfection findings associated with homicidality that separated from the non-homicidal group within the 95% confidence interval included suicidality, sudden abrupt mood swings, explosive anger, paranoia, anhedonia, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle, disinhibition, nightmares, depersonalization, intrusive aggressive images, dissociative episodes, derealization, intrusive sexual images, marital/family problems, legal problems, substance abuse, depression, panic disorder, memory impairments, neuropathy, cranial nerve symptoms, and decreased libido. Seven LD homicides included predatory aggression, poor impulse control, and psychosis. Some patients have selective hyperacusis to mouth sounds, which I propose may be the result of brain dysfunction causing a disinhibition of a primitive fear of oral predation.
Conclusion: LD and the immune, biochemical, neurotransmitter, and the neural circuit reactions to it can cause impairments associated with violence. Many LD patients have no aggressiveness tendencies or only mild degrees of low frustration tolerance and irritability and pose no danger; however, a lesser number experience explosive anger, a lesser number experience homicidal thoughts and impulses, and much lesser number commit homicides. Since such large numbers are affected by LD, this small percent can be highly significant. Much of the violence associated with LD can be avoided with better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of LD.
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi, impulsive, tick-borne, rage, suicide, immune
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