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Manganic encephalopathy due to “ephedrone” abuse



We describe the clinical and neuroimaging features of 6 drug-abuse patients with self-inflicted manganese poisoning. The patients injected a home-brewed mixture called “ephedrone” (slang term) that contained manganese to produce an amphetamine-like euphoria. The desired chemical product, phenylpropanoneamine (also called methcathinone), was synthesized from a common-cold–remedy compound using permanganate as the catalyst. Manganese was a by-product in the ephedrone mixture. After months of self-injections, a clinical picture emerged, consisting of apathy, bradykinesia, gait disorder with postural instability, and spastic-hypokinetic dysarthria. There was no response to levodopa. The MRI revealed symmetric hyperintense T1-weighted signals in the basal ganglia, typical of manganese accumulation. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society