Persistent regional frontotemporal hypoactivity in violent offenders at follow-up.
Anckarsäter H., Piechnik S., Tullberg M., Ziegelitz D., Sörman M., Bjellvi J., Karlsson E., Fernandez NV., Wikkelso C., Forsman A.
Since cross-sectional brain-imaging studies demonstrating frontotemporal cerebral hypoactivity in violent offenders have generally been carried out around the time of trial and sentencing, the findings might be influenced by the stressful situation of the subjects. It seems that no group of offenders with this finding has yet been followed longitudinally. We have re-examined nine offenders convicted of lethal or near-lethal violence in whom single photon emission tomography (SPECT) previously had demonstrated frontotemporal hypoperfusion. The mean interval between the initial and the follow-up examination was 4 years. The initially observed hypoactivity was found to have remained virtually unchanged at follow-up: no mean change in the group exceeded 5% in 12 assessed regions of interest. Although preliminary due to the small sample size, this study suggests that frontotemporal brain hypoactivity is a trait rather than a state in perpetrators of severe violent crimes.