Brain injury following neuroleptic malignant syndrome: Case report and review of the literature
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OBJECTIVE: To report a case of brain injury following neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and review the literature for similar documented cases. CASE REPORT: A 30-year old woman presented to the ER with psychotic features and was treated with several anti-psychotics. Subsequently, she developed neurological symptoms and was diagnosed with neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Following a prolonged course in an acute care facility, she was admitted to a rehabilitation ward, where cognitive and physical examinations revealed significant findings. These included marked dysarthria, difficulties comprehending commands, attention problems, as well as abnormalities in her muscle tone, power, reflexes, gait, co-ordination and sensory function. CONCLUSION: Literature reviews reveal few documented cases of brain injury following neuroleptic malignant syndrome. A further exploration of the effects of NMS on the brain is warranted to elicit whether cerebellar damage is indeed common following neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Such research could eventually lead to therapeutic interventions aimed at preventing permanent brain injury in persons with NMS.
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