Movement disorders in autoimmune diseases

Mov Disord. 2012 Jul;27(8):935-46. doi: 10.1002/mds.25011. Epub 2012 May 3.


Movement disorders have been known to be associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including Sydenham's chorea, pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus, systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome, gluten sensitivity, paraneoplastic and autoimmune encephalopathies. Tremors, dystonia, chorea, ballism, myoclonus, parkinsonism, and ataxia may be the initial and even the only presentation of these autoimmune diseases. Although antibodies directed against various cellular components of the central nervous system have been implicated, the pathogenic mechanisms of these autoimmune movement disorders have not yet been fully elucidated. Clinical recognition of these autoimmune movement disorders is critically important as many improve with immunotherapy or dietary modifications, particularly when diagnosed early. We discuss here the clinical features, pathogenic mechanisms, and treatments of movement disorders associated with autoimmune diseases, based on our own experience and on a systematic review of the literature.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / immunology
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Celiac Disease / complications
  • Child
  • Encephalitis
  • Hashimoto Disease / complications
  • Hashimoto Disease / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes, Nervous System / complications
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Streptococcal Infections / complications
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology

Supplementary concepts

  • Hashimoto's encephalitis