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Kleptomania After Head Trauma: Two Case Reports and Combination Treatment Strategies

Aizer, Anat MD; Lowengrub, Katherine MD; Dannon, Pinhas N MD

doi: 10.1097/01.wnf.0000144042.66342.d3
Case Report

The purpose of this paper is to add to the growing number of reports about kleptomania occurring in relation to brain injury as well as to present the authors’ findings regarding treatment strategies. The authors present two case reports of patients who developed the new onset of kleptomania after closed head trauma. Both patients had comorbid psychiatric symptoms associated with the kleptomania. Antidepressant monotherapy was not beneficial in reducing kleptomania in either patient. Kleptomanic behavior was successfully treated in both patients, however, through combination treatment using an antidepressant agent together with adjunctive cognitive behavioral therapy or adjunctive naltrexone. In one patient, single photon emission tomography showed a perfusion deficit in the left temporal lobe. Various hypotheses regarding this finding and the etiopathology of kleptomania are discussed. Review of current work in the field suggests that kleptomania is a heterogeneous disorder that shares features of both impulse and addiction disorders as well as affective spectrum disorders.

From The Rehovot Community Mental Health & Rehabilitation Center, Tel Aviv University, Rehovot Israel.

Reprints: Pinhas N. Dannon, MD, The Rehovot Community Mental Health & Rehabilitation Center, Tel Aviv University, Remez St 80, Rehovot 76449 Israel (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.