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Toluene-induced leukodystrophy from glue sniffing
  1. Yue Hui Lau1,
  2. Ahmad Shahir Mawardi1,
  3. Norzaini Rose Zain2,
  4. Shanthi Viswanathan1
  1. 1 Neurology Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2 Radiology Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yue Hui Lau, Neurology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 50586, Malaysia; andrealau38{at}


A 33-year-old man with a history of chronic toluene abuse through glue sniffing, developed tremors, cerebellar signs and cognitive decline. MR scan of the brain showed global cerebral and cerebellar atrophy with symmetrical T2-weighted hypointensities in the basal ganglia, thalami and midbrain. After stopping glue sniffing, his tremors, ataxia of gait, speech and cognition partially improved. Early recognition and intervention of toluene-induced leukodystrophy could prevent ongoing morbidity and premature mortality.

  • toluene
  • bagging
  • leukodystrophy
  • cerebral atrophy
  • encephalopathy

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  • Contributors Concept study and discussion: SV, YHL and ASM. Design and literature: YHL and SV. Data, statistical analysis and overview: all authors. Collection: YHL and NRZ.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed. Externally peer reviewed by Robin Howard, London, UK.

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