M. Nardini, A. Bellomo- Vol. 5, Settembre 1999, num.3
This article provides a broad theoretical and clinical overview of the prefrontal syndrome. The term prefrontal syndrome has become entrenched in the language of neuropsychiatry; however, its genesis and validity warrant further inspection.
The term appears to denote a constellation of clinical signs and symptoms that are referable to a specific neuroanatomical focus: the frontal lobe. There is no doubt that focal lesions involving the prefrontal cortex produce a predictable constellation of executive cognitive deficits; there is equally robust evidence that lesions of the prefrontal cortical mantle may produce a constellation of behavioural abnormalities.
After a review of this syndrome, the autors conclude that an understanding of the extended neural connectivity of the prefrontal cortex provides the template for describing three distinct prefrontal syndromes (dysexecutive, disinhibited and apathetic types), each associated with dysfunctions in a specific prefrontal region.
The autors describe the psychiatric disorders and the cognitive impairments of prefrontal syndrome and afterwards point out the difficulties of classifying these problems in the current diagnostic nosographic systems of mental disorders.