Acute toxic leukoencephalopathy associated with a non-prescription weight loss supplement: a report of two cases

Neurol Sci. 2017 Dec;38(12):2199-2201. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-3028-0. Epub 2017 Jun 27.


Weight loss dietary supplements are used with some frequency by an increasingly overweight population. Some products are not adequately regulated and may pose potential health risks. We report two new cases of acute toxic leukoencephalopathy (ATL) due to the use of a supplement marketed as a thermogenic weight loss aid. ATL is a heterogeneous clinic-radiological entity that has been associated with various compounds, such as chemotherapeutic drugs and immunomodulators. It is characterized by an often reversible periventricular and infratentorial demyelination. The commercialization of non-regulated weight loss products continues to be a health risk in our population.

Keywords: Dietary supplements; Leukoencephalopathy; MRI; Toxic leukoencephalopathy; White matter.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / toxicity*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dietary Supplements / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Leukoencephalopathies / etiology*
  • Leukoencephalopathies / physiopathology
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / etiology*
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Obesity Agents