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Parkinsonism in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Interferons

Overview of attention for article published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, January 2016
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Parkinsonism in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Treated With Interferons
Published in
Clinical Neuropharmacology, January 2016
DOI 10.1097/wnf.0000000000000120
Pubmed ID

Kirk J. Wangensteen, Edward L. Krawitt, Robert W. Hamill, James T. Boyd


Interferons are a set of cytokines that activate antiviral responses by the body's immune cells and have been a mainstay of treatment of hepatitis C. Well-known neuropsychiatric effects of interferons include depression, irritability, and impaired concentration. A condition reported rarely in association with this treatment is parkinsonism. We report 2 patients who developed parkinsonism in conjunction with treatment of hepatitis C with alpha interferons. The first is a 51-year-old man who developed intermittent rest and postural tremor during treatment with pegylated interferon alpha ribavirin, and amantadine, with resolution of the symptoms after completing a 36-week course. Similar tremor recurred 3 years later with progressive parkinsonism, compatible with Parkinson disease (PD). The second patient is a 71-year-old man who developed postural tremor 8 weeks into a regimen of consensus interferon. Tremor resolved at completion of 48 weeks of interferon. Pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin were started 2 years later because of lack of sustained virologic response. At 24 weeks of treatment, postural tremor returned along with features and a progressive course compatible with PD. Thus, both patients presented here developed (rest and/or postural) tremor during interferon therapy followed by delayed onset of parkinsonism. We identified 10 other cases in the literature of parkinsonism/PD associated with interferon administration. This report reviews the clinical presentation and potential pathophysiological mechanisms and recommends that physicians who prescribe interferon be vigilant for symptoms of PD in their patients.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 32 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Colombia 1 3%
Unknown 31 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 25%
Student > Bachelor 7 22%
Student > Postgraduate 3 9%
Student > Master 3 9%
Librarian 2 6%
Other 5 16%
Unknown 4 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 10 31%
Psychology 4 13%
Nursing and Health Professions 3 9%
Neuroscience 2 6%
Computer Science 2 6%
Other 7 22%
Unknown 4 13%