Luria has described a syndrome of disinhibited and impulsive behaviour, in which the patient is unable to follow sequential instructions. This he attributes to localised frontal lobe damage. However, group studies of patients with focal lesions of the frontal lobes fail to reveal such a syndrome. A patient is described who displayed a form of Luria's syndrome temporarily. Psychometric and post mortem evidence indicate that the syndrome arises only under conditions of more global cerebral dysfunction.