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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 9-13

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Dilemmas

Abebaw Fekadu1 and Jonathan I. Bisson2

1St Ann’s Hospital, Poole, UK
2University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK

Received 27 July 2005; Accepted 27 July 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. 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.


Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a life threatening medical state complicating the use of antipsychotic medications and other drugs that affect the dopaminergic system on administration or withdrawal. The condition was recognised nearly half a century ago, shortly after the discovery of antipsychotic medications. However, there are still no systematic studies about NMS. There are no definitive guidelines on its treatment. Although early recognition is emphasised and usually possible, delayed diagnosis is not rare. We here report on a case of NMS complicated by renal failure, and possibly respiratory failure. The report underscores the seriousness of delayed diagnosis and puts forward a comprehensive management recommendation based on our experience and the existing literature.