Isolated athymhormia following hypoxic bilateral pallidal lesions

E. Mori, H. Yamashita, S. Takauchi, K. Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A 40 year old right-handed man developed striking behavioral and personality changes characterized by apathy, indifference and placidity, and loss of internal drive and motivation without any motor or intellectual disturbances (isolated athymhormic syndrome) following accidental carbon monoxide intoxication. A stereotaxic analysis of three-dimensional MRI revealed lesions confined in the ventrorostral globus pallidus sparing the dorsocaudal part of the globus pallidus and the white matter inside and outside of the globus pallidus. A SPECT demonstrated bifrontal lobe hypoperfusion predominating in the mesial region. These findings substantiated the role of the limbic striatal-ventral pallidal-dorsomedial thalamic-anterior cingulate circuit in affect and drive in human. A disruption of this circuit at the level of the globus pallidus dynamically depresses the mesial frontal lobe function, resulting in isolated athymhormia without affecting other parallel basal ganglia-thalamofrontal circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1


  • Apathy
  • Athymhormia
  • Basal ganglia
  • Carbon monoxide intoxication
  • Frontal lobe
  • Globus pallidus
  • Personality change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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