Respiratory problems in neurologic movement disorders

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2010 Dec;16(10):628-38. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2010.07.004. Epub 2010 Aug 2.


Background: Movement disorders are a group of neurological motor disturbances manifested by either paucity or slowness of movement, such as seen in Parkinson's disease, or by abnormal involuntary movements, called hyperkinesias, which include tremor, dystonia, chorea, tics, myoclonus, and stereotypy. The aim of this review is to draw attention to the respiratory problems that are sometimes associated with these various movement disorders.

Methods: References for this review were identified by searches of PubMed through June 2010, a text word search strategy. There were no language restrictions. Books on movement disorders, personal experience and judgment were also used in preparation of this review.

Results: Data from 245 articles were critically reviewed, compared and integrated.

Conclusion: Although movement disorders are primarily considered motor disorders, the purpose of this review is to draw attention to their involvement of the respiratory system. It is critical that clinicians recognize the phenomenology and take appropriate action to prevent and treat the various respiratory problems associated with the various neurological disorders. Timely institution of therapeutic interventions is needed to favorably impact on the quality of life and survival of these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Dystonia / complications
  • Dystonia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / complications
  • Hyperkinesis / complications
  • Hyperkinesis / physiopathology
  • Movement Disorders / complications*
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Multiple System Atrophy / etiology
  • Multiple System Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Myoclonus / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / chemically induced
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Tics / complications
  • Tics / physiopathology
  • Tourette Syndrome / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome / physiopathology


  • Antiparkinson Agents