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Neurologic Manifestations of Cocaine Exposure in Childhood
Pediatrics 93:557-560, Mott,S.H.,et al, 1994
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Article Abstract
Nineteen(46%)of 41 had neurologic abnormalities,including seizures(7), obtundation(6),delirium(4),dizziness(1),drooling(1),and ataxia(1).In 14 others,the neurologic effects of cocaine were difficult to determine because of other concomitant medical conditions,including head injuries and severe abdominal or chest trauma.Two major age-related patterns were seen:(a)in each child<5 years of age,seizures and obtundation;and(b)in 11 older children,delirium(3),dizziness(1),drooling(2),and lethargy(4). Seizures,occurring at ages 12 months to 8 years,were focal with secondary generalization in three and generalized in four.They were associated with fever in two children.Six children had no further seizures,and one developed a mixed-seizure disorder.Passive intoxication while being in a room in which"crack"was smoked was the most likely cause of exposure for young victims.Multiple drug abuse was not documented in any child with neurologic impairment.1)Cocaine exposure is common in children in our urban setting;2)neurologic manifestations frequently occur;3)in children 8 years of age or younger,"passive"ingestion/inhalation is associated with focal and generalized seizures without evidence of structural brain injury;4)cocaine may lower seizure threshold in children predisposed to seizures;5)in children>8 years of age,manifestations are similar to those in adults;6)trauma and motor vehicle accidents were seen in the adolescent age group exposed to cocaine;and 7)urine toxicological study in cocaine exposure is recommended in all first-time seizures as well as first-time febrile seizures.
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automobile accidents
drug induced neurologic disorders
drug induced neurologic disorders in children
head injury
level of consciousness,decreased
urine test in toxic screen

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