Movement Disorders and Syndromic Autism: A Systematic Review

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Jan;49(1):54-67. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3658-y.


Movement disorders are reported in idiopathic autism but the extent to which comparable movement disorders are found in syndromic/co-morbid autism is unknown. A systematic search of Medline, Embase, PsychINFO and CINAHL on the prevalence of specific movement disorder in syndromic autism associated with specific genetic syndromes identified 16 papers, all relating to Angelman syndrome or Rett syndrome. Prevalence rates of 72.7-100% and 25.0-27.3% were reported for ataxia and tremor, respectively, in Angelman syndrome. In Rett syndrome, prevalence rates of 43.6-50% were reported for ataxia and 27.3-48.3% for tremor with additional reports of dystonia, rigidity and pyramidal signs. However, reliable assessment measures were rarely used and recruitment was often not described in sufficient detail.

Keywords: Angelman; Ataxia; Autism; Dystonia; Extra-pyramidal; Movement disorder; Retts; Rigidity; Tremor.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Angelman Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Rett Syndrome / epidemiology