Which movement disorders are associated with methanol toxicity?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Kalyani Korabathina, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
  • Print

Parkinsonian motor impairment has been described in some long-term survivors of methanol poisoning. This is thought to be due to formic acid’s predilection for accumulating in high concentrations within the putamen, but the reasons for this phenomenon are unclear. One proposed reason is that formic acid has the ability to impair dopaminergic pathways and increase enzymatic activity of dopa-B-hydroxylase. (See Etiology and Pathophysiology.) [4]

Symptom onset is usually delayed several weeks after methanol exposure. Common parkinsonian symptoms, such as tremor, cogwheel rigidity, stooped posture, shuffling gait, and hypokinesis, have been well described. In addition, the development of dystonia and corticospinal tract signs has been established.

Several case reports have indicated symptom response to standard antiparkinsonian agents, particularly levodopa, amantadine, and bromocriptine. [5]

Muscle spasms have also been reported in methanol poisoning. As expected, this symptom responds poorly to traditional therapy. [6]

Rarely, lesions in the lobar regions of the cerebrum and cerebellum have been observed. [7]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!