Objectives: No information has been published on the incidence of neuroleptic malignant syndrome in learning disability. However, some studies of individuals who have developed neuroleptic malignant syndrome have suggested that individuals with learning disabilities may be over represented. This study aims to identify the association between learning disability and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Method: A retrospective case-note analysis was performed with psychiatric case notes for clients with learning disability, in two geographical catchment areas. It was recorded whether clients had been exposed to neuroleptics, and whether any neurological symptoms had subsequently developed which could have been suggestive of neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Results: It was found that 301 individuals had been exposed to neuroleptics, out of 570 case notes examined. Only one case of neuroleptic malignant syndrome was identified, giving a lifetime prevalence rate of 0.3%.
Conclusion: This study failed to demonstrate a higher than expected prevalence of neuroleptic malignant syndrome in clients with learning disability exposed to neuroleptics.