An interesting neurological syndrome, characterized by recurrent optic neuritis, cervical myelopathy from syringomyelia, paraparesis, amenorrhea-galactorrhea, and other endocrine problems, has been described among young black women in the French West Indies. The etiology remains unknown, but possible links with Devic's disease, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and neurotoxicity from quinolines in Annona muricata teas have been postulated. The largest epidemic of neuropathy in this century occurred in Cuba in 1991-1994. Clinical features and etiologic studies are reviewed. Its primary cause was nutritional. A similar epidemic was recently described in Tanzania. A number of infectious neuropathies and myopathies are reviewed, including leprosy, tuberculosis, hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola and Marburg filoviruses, Lassa, Argentinean and Bolivian arenaviruses), the human retrovirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I, Lyme disease and postimmunization neuropathies. The tropics continue to contribute interesting and important clinical conditions that may illuminate the etiopathiogenesis of other common disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 9 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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