Acquired sexual paraphilia in patients with multiple sclerosis

Elliot Frohman, Teresa C. Frohman, Ann M. Moreault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis is typically characterized by diminished libido, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction in men, and poor lubrication and anorgasmy in women. In contrast, hypersexual behavior and paraphilias are distinctly uncommon in this population of patients, but have been associated with various focal brain lesions. Patient and Methods: We describe a man with clinically definite multiple sclerosis who developed profound and abrupt disinhibition and paraphilic behavior during an exacerbation. Results: Neuroimaging revealed a marked increase in the number of enhancing lesions in the right sides of the hypothalamus and mesencephalon and extending into the right sides of the red nucleus, substantia nigra, and internal capsule. The altered sexual behavior was characterized by an obsessive and insatiable desire to touch women's breasts. Conclusions: Acquired sexual paraphilic behavior is uncommon in patients with multiple sclerosis but may occur when inflammatory demyelination involves the hypothalamic and septal regions of the basal prosencephalon. Our experience with this man illustrates the great difficulty involved in treating such patients when the paraphilic behavior becomes persistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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