Expanding sexual and gender minority research in movement disorders: More than awareness and acceptance

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2021 Jun;87:162-165. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2021.05.019. Epub 2021 May 24.


Culturally competent and inclusive care is slowly becoming the standard throughout healthcare institutions. Awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of the sexual and gender minority (SGM) groups in medicine and neurology are progressing. Research in SGM health, although increasing, remains remarkably scant in parkinsonism and other movement disorders, a community whose patient population is on the rise. Most SGM health research in movement disorders only focuses on the symptoms associated with infection by the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Multiple clinical and epidemiological research questions remain unaddressed when considering the intersection of movement disorders and SGM health. In this article, we highlight gaps in the care of SGM individuals with movement disorders. First, the prevalence and phenomenology of movement disorders could be different, considering the different rates of risk factors and the use of gender-affirming hormones. Also, the effect of creating a safe environment in healthcare institutions to disclose sexual orientation and gender identity on seeking care, access to resources, and quality of services remains unknown. Moreover, many individuals with movement disorders would require services from multidisciplinary teams or long-term care facilities, which might not consider the needs of SGM patients in their models of care. Last, the effect of social isolation and self-perception (or misperceptions) in the SGM populations on the non-motor and motor symptoms of movement disorders and the treatment plans is not understood.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research* / standards
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*