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Neurological complications of alcohol and misuse of drugs
  1. Killian A Welch
  1. Correspondence to Dr Killian Welch, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Robert Fergusson Unit, Astley Ainslie Hospital, 133 Grange Loan, Midlothian EH9 2HL, UK; killian.welch{at}


The nature of many of the symptoms associated with substance and alcohol use means that patients often present to neurologists. The frequently catastrophic consequences of overlooking these patients makes this an important cause to identify. Here I will discuss various acute and non-acute substance misuse associated presentations, with particular emphasis on the neurology. As neurological sequelae are particularly common in alcohol use, there will be an emphasis on this drug while other substances are included when relevant, extending to the recently notorious ‘legal highs’. I hope this review will increase vigilance to the possibility of substance use disorder, and persuade neurologists that they have a role in the detection and treatment of these conditions.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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