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Dysexecutive Syndrome is a frontal lobe disorder associated with a number of symptoms [1] which tend to occur together (hence it being described as a syndrome). Broadly speaking, these symptoms fall into three main categories; Cognitive, Emotional & Behavioural. Although many of these symptoms regularly co-occur, it is common to encounter patients who have several, but not all of these symptoms. This is one reason why some researchers are beginning to argue that the Dysexecutive Syndrome is not the best term to describe these various symptoms (see criticisms below). The fact that many of the Dysexecutive Syndrome symptoms can occur alone has led some researchers [2] to suggest that the symptoms should not be labelled as a "syndrome" as such. Some of the latest imaging research [3] on frontal cortex areas suggests that executive function deficits may be more discrete than was previously thought. The argument is that rather than damage to the frontal cortex areas causing Dysexecutive Function in general, that damage to multiple frontal cortex areas that are close together (but responsible for different cognitive functions) can cause the various symptoms of the Dysexecutive Syndrome.

The counterargument is that there is a Central executive corresponding to areas within the frontal lobes which is responsible for much of the Executive system and executive function in general, and that damage to this area causes the Dysexecutive syndrome.

See alsoEdit


  1. Halligan P.W, Kischka U. & Marshall J.C. (2004) Handbook of Clinical Neuropsychology. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  2. Stuss, D.T. & Alexander, M.P. (2007) Is there a Dysexecutive Syndrome? Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 362 (1481), 901-15.
  3. Gilbert, S.J. & Burgess, P.W. (2008). Executive Function. Current Biology, Vol.18, No. 3, 110 - 114.

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