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August 17, 1984

Monosodium Glutamania: The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Revisited

Author Affiliations

Virginia Neurologic Center, Ltd Alexandria

JAMA. 1984;252(7):899. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350070017009

To the Editor.—  There are numerous reports of the Chinese restaurant syndrome (CRS) in the literature. This is a symptom complex consisting of burning, tightness, and numbness of the neck and face, occasionally accompanied by dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting occurring after eating Chinese food.1-3 One pediatric case is reported in which an 18-month-old child began crying and apparently suffered abdominal pain ten minutes after eating wonton soup.4 No case reports describe delirium associated with Chinese food or wonton soup.

Report of a Case.—  On three separate occasions after eating Chinese food at the same restaurant, our 3-year-old daughter had a 30- to 45-minute episode of inappropriate behavior, confusion, and slight ataxia of gait without nystagmus, headache, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. On each occasion, she had eaten wonton soup accompanied by a cola. These symptoms began before she had completed the soup. She giggled and talked "baby