Uncontrollable rage could be cured by drugs like aspirin

Uncontrollable rage could be cured by drugs like aspirin


Uncontrollable anger could be cured by taking aspirin after scientists found excessive bouts of rage may be the result of an inflammation in the body. Intermittent explosive disorder, which is sometimes known as ‘anger syndrome’ usually begins in late teens and is defined ‘as a failure to resist aggressive impulses.’


Sufferers are impulsive, hostile, and prone to recurrent aggressive outbursts of anger. Not only are the lives of sufferers disrupted, but also those of their family, friends and colleagues. Road rage is said to be a good example of the symptoms.


However researchers in the US found that people diagnosed with IED had higher markers of inflammation in the blood than those with cooler heads and average tempers.


Levels of one protein were on average twice as high in "explosive" individuals while another marker molecule was also present in people with the worst records of aggressive behaviour. "These two markers consistently correlate with aggression and impulsivity but not with other psychiatric problems," said lead scientist Professor Emil Coccaro, from the University of Chicago.


"We don't yet know if the inflammation triggers aggression or aggressive feelings set off inflammation, but it's a powerful indication.” Prof Coccaro said uncontrollable rage should be dismissed as simple ‘bad behaviour.’


"It has strong genetic and biomedical underpinnings," he said. "This is a serious mental health condition that can and should be treated." "Medications that reduce inflammation may also drive down aggression," said Prof Coccaro.


A study in 2006 found that the disorder affects up to 5 per cent of adults.Typically, the first episodes of IED rage occur in adolescence, at about age 13 for boys and 19 for girls. It raises the risk of other forms of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and alcohol or drug abuse.


People with IED are also more likely to develop a host of physical health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, ulcers and headaches.

In the past it has been linked to temporal lobe epilepsy, or decreased levels of serotonin, and is thus sometimes treated with anti-depressants. The findings are published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

By Sarah Knapton

The Telegraph, 19th December, 2013

View this article