Methylphenidate treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms of central and extrapontine myelinolysis

D. Bridgeford, D. B. Arciniegas, M. Batkis, E. Sandberg, T. P. Beresford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous reports describe the presentation and course of the neurobehavioral manifestations of central and extrapontine myelinolysis; as of yet, however, there are no specific recommendations for treatment of these problems. We offer the first report of successful treatment. Method: We describe a 55-year-old man with chronic alcoholism who developed central and extrapontine myelinolysis following an episode of heavy drinking and rapid correction of hyponatremia. The patient acutely developed motor, cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems best accounted for by central pontine and bilateral striatal myelinolysis. These neuropsychiatric symptoms were treated with methylphenidate over the course of 1 month in an off-on-off-on fashion. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory and other tests were used to assess treatment response. Results: Marked improvements in the patient's neuropsychiatric status were noted only during treatment with methylphenidate. Conclusions: Methylphenidate effectively reversed the neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the patient's demyelinating lesions. We discuss possible underlying mechanisms of both symptom formation and treatment effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-660
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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