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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 47-52
Case Report

Neurobehavioral Aspects of the Delayed Encephalopathy of Carbon Monoxide Intoxication: Case Report and Review

M. F. Mendez1,3 and R. C. Doss2

1University of California at Los Angeles and Neurobehavior Unit, West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2St Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, USA
3Neurobehavior Unit (691/116AF), West Los Angeles V.A. Medical Center, Wilshire and Sawtelle Blvds, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA

Received 7 September 1994; Accepted 17 January 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the neurobehavioral aspects of the delayed encephalopathy of carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication in a 29 year old woman and review the literature. Four weeks after CO poisoning, the patient developed a frontal lobe syndrome, visuoperceptual impairment, and diffuse white matter lesions with an otherwise normal neurological examination. In contrast, patients with the classical syndrome also have a parkinsonian state or an akinetic–mute state. The delayed encephalopathy of CO poisoning usually results from demyelination of subcortical white matter, necrosis of the globus pallidus, or both. The clinical aspects, risk factors, neurobiological features, and therapy and prognosis are discussed.