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Life-threatening parkinsonism induced by kava-kava



We present a 45-year-old female with severe parkinsonism induced by kava-kava. The patient, who had a family history of essential tremor, developed severe and persistent parkinsonism after days of treatment with kava extract for anxiety. The symptoms improved with anticholinergics. Kava derivatives could produce severe parkinsonism in individuals with genetic susceptibility. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society.