Neurologic and neuropsychiatric complications of Crohn's disease

South Med J. 1997 Jun;90(6):606-10. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199706000-00005.


The literature contains sporadic accounts of neurologic complications occurring in patients with Crohn's Disease (CD). The pathogenesis of these is unknown and little has been reported about their incidence. Our review of the medical records of 253 patients with confirmed CD showed that neurologic and neuropsychiatric complications were evident in 84 of the patients, an incidence of 33.2%. In some the association could be casual, but in others the incidence of such complications was higher than that in the general population, suggesting a direct relationship with CD in 19.3%. Our study revealed a variety of neurologic and neuropsychologic events, such as seizure disorder, cerebrovascular accident, headache, peripheral neuropathy, myopathy, and major depression. We believe that an autoimmune phenomenon affecting the small vessels of the central and peripheral nerves may cause the most common neurologic complications of CD.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / etiology