Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Jun 16, 2016; 4(6): 138-141
Published online Jun 16, 2016. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v4.i6.138
Vampiristic behaviors in a patient with traumatic brain injury induced disinhibition
William M Hervey, Glenn Catalano, Maria C Catalano
William M Hervey, Glenn Catalano, Maria C Catalano, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, FL 33612, United States
William M Hervey, Glenn Catalano, Maria C Catalano, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33613, United States
Author contributions: Hervey WM, Catalano G and Catalano MC contributed equally to this work; Catalano G identified the case; Hervey WM, Catalano G and Catalano MC all assisted in the conception of the case, collection of clinical data and interpretation of clinical data; Hervey WM drafted the article; Catalano G and Catalano MC made critical revisions related to the intellectual content of the manuscript; Hervey WM, Catalano C and Catalano MC each exercised final approval of the finished manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: This case report was exempt from the Institutional Review Board standards at the Institutional Review Board (IRB)/Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at the University of South Florida.
Informed consent statement: The patient involved in this study gave her verbal informed consent prior to inclusion in this case report.
Conflict-of-interest statement: None of the authors have any financial or personal relationships with other people or organizations that could potentially and inappropriately influence their work and conclusions. The authors have received no grant funding or support for this manuscript. The authors report no proprietary or commercial interests in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Glenn Catalano, MD, Chief, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard #116A, Tampa, FL 33612, United States.
Telephone: +1-813-6317122 Fax: +1-813-6313310
Received: January 29, 2016
Peer-review started: January 29, 2016
First decision: February 29, 2016
Revised: March 3, 2016
Accepted: March 24, 2016
Article in press: March 25, 2016
Published online: June 16, 2016

Vampiristic behaviors are rarely seen clinically and less than 100 cases have been reported in the world literature to date. A distinction is usually made as to whether the patient drinks their own blood or the blood of others. We describe a 38-year-old patient who had vampiristic thoughts and fantasies that began in adolescence, but did not act on these thoughts until after she suffered a traumatic brain injury with a three-week loss of consciousness while serving in the military. Brain imaging showed focal damage to her bilateral frontal lobes. Psychological testing demonstrated impairment of executive function. We review the proposed diagnostic criteria for vampirism and discuss how behavioral disinhibition may have affected the emergence into behavior of her previously inhibited vampiristic thoughts.

Keywords: Vamipirism, Disinhibition, Traumatic brain injury, Hematophagia, Blood

Core tip: The chronic neuropsychiatric sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is currently the subject of serious clinical investigation. This case presents a clinical association between TBI and vampiristic behaviors already present as pre-brain injury fantasies, which bcame manifest as post-brain injury behavioral disinhibition.