Organophosphate induced delayed polyneuropathy in man: an overview

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2011 Jan;113(1):7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.08.015. Epub 2010 Sep 28.


About 80 years have passed since the first cases of organophosphate induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP), as the consequence of human poisoning with certain organophosphorus compounds, were described in the literature. OPIDP is a relatively rare neurodegenerative disorder in humans characterized by loss of function, ataxia and paralysis of distal parts of sensory and motor axons in peripheral nerves and ascending and descending tracts of spinal cord appearing 2-3 weeks after exposure or later. The molecular target for OPIDP is considered to be an enzyme in the nervous system known as neuropathy target esterase (NTE). This review discusses OPIDP in man with emphasis on clinical presentation, pathogenesis, molecular mechanisms, and possibilities for prevention/therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Esterases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / drug therapy
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / etiology*
  • Organophosphates / toxicity*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polyneuropathies / chemically induced*
  • Polyneuropathies / diagnosis
  • Polyneuropathies / drug therapy
  • Polyneuropathies / enzymology


  • Organophosphates
  • Esterases