One reason why the Chicago researchers think that IED is more common than previously thought is that most people who meet the criteria for the disorder do not seek help for the problems in their lives that result from it.
The prognosis of IED depends on several factors that include the individual's socioeconomic status, the stability of the immediate family, the values of the surrounding neighborhood, and his or her motivation to change.
The researchers found that although 88 percent of the 253 individuals with IED whom they studied were upset by the results of their explosive outbursts, only 13 percent had ever asked for treatment in dealing with it.
Some scientists have reported abnormally low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, in the cerebrospinal fluid of some angerprone persons, but the relationship of this finding to IED is not clear.
Some persons with IED benefit from cognitive therapy in addition to medications, particularly if they are concerned about the impact of their disorder on their education, employment, or interpersonal relationships.