Neurological disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases

World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul 21;20(27):8764-82. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i27.8764.


Extraintestinal manifestations occur in about one-third of patients living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and may precede the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms by many years. Neurologic disorders associated with IBD are not frequent, being reported in 3% of patients, but they often represent an important cause of morbidity and a relevant diagnostic issue. In addition, the increasing use of immunosuppressant and biological therapies for IBD may also play a pivotal role in the development of neurological disorders of different type and pathogenesis. Hence, we provide a complete and profound review of the main features of neurological complications associated with IBD, with particular reference to those related to drugs and with a specific focus on their clinical presentation and possible pathophysiological mechanisms.

Keywords: Cerebrovascular diseases; Crohn’s disease; Demyelinating neuropathies; Extraintestinal manifestations; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Multiple sclerosis; Neurological disorders; Progressive multifocal encephalopathy; Side effects; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / immunology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / prevention & control
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Nervous System Diseases / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents