Discovery Fit & Health
Pyromania is a rare disorder, and not much is known about its causes. It is classified as an impulse control disorder, but treatment so far has involved cognitive behavioral therapies rather than medication (with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) [source: How Antidepressants Work].
A recent report by psychiatrist Jon Grant documented the case of a man labeled as a true pyromaniac. Scanned images of the patient's brain showed low blood flow in a part of the left inferior frontal area [source: Grant]. The patient underwent a daily regimen of behavioral therapy for three weeks and spent one year on the anti-convulsant drug topiramate. At the end of the 12 months in which the patient felt a strong decrease in the impulse to set fires, imaging of the patient's brain showed the blood flow problem was gone. It was the first study of a potential biological reason for pyromania, as well as the behavioral/medical treatment for it.
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