Neurologists need to familiarize themselves with nerve agents, the most toxic of the chemical warfare agents. Their mode of action lies within the nervous system, and nonneurologists will look to neurologists for expert advice on therapy. These agents cause rapid-onset cholinergic crisis amenable to prompt treatment with specific antidotes. Experience on the battlefield and in terrorist attacks demonstrates that therapy saves lives.
Molecular models: A, Tabun (GA). B, Sarin (GB). C, Soman (GD). D, VX. Courtesy of Offie E. Clark, MS, US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense. C indicates carbon; F, fluorine; N, nitrogen, O, oxygen, P, phosphorus; and S, sulfur.
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