Parkinsonism induced by solvent abuse

Ann Neurol. 1994 May;35(5):616-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.410350516.


We report the first description of a patient with parkinsonism induced by solvent abuse. Our patient developed parkinsonism acutely, following heavy abuse of lacquer thinner. Her clinical deficits were indistinguishable from idiopathic parkinsonism (Parkinson's disease) and she responded to levodopa. Parkinsonism has persisted for more than 3 months. Brain computed tomography was normal. Positron emission tomographic studies showed normal fluorodopa uptake and reduced raclopride binding, indicating an unusual disturbance of striatal dopaminergic function. This patient suggests that organic solvents may cause parkinsonism in susceptible individuals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease, Secondary / chemically induced*
  • Parkinson Disease, Secondary / drug therapy
  • Solvents*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Solvents
  • Levodopa