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July 3, 1972

Persistent Dyskinesias in Drug Users

Author Affiliations

Buffalo, NY

JAMA. 1972;221(1):86-87. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200140070028

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To the Editor.—  In this report we document persistent dyskinesias in adolescents who are members of the drug subculture in the United States and who take medications not by prescription and not therapeutically, but for behavioral and emotionally modifying responses.After the use of the phenothiazines became widespread, the attention of neurologists was called to the extrapyramidal side effects sometimes accompanying them. These included dyskinesia or abnormal movements.We must now distress the medical community by reporting the appearance of persistent neurologic sequelae in adolescent drug abusers, being careful to differentiate the persistent dyskinesia in the elderly from the serious long-standing neurologic sequelae, which may follow the illegal use of drugs.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—