Movement disorders in emergency settings: a prospective study
Acute movement disorders (MD) are etiologically heterogeneous entities. Since studies on the relative frequency of different MD and their underlying diseases are limited, we performed a prospective study to investigate the spectrum of various MD and their causes in patients presenting with acute MD in an emergency room (ER) setting.
To describe the spectrum and outcomes of acute MD in a prospective cohort and to guide its management.
We investigated acute MD in 96 consecutive patients admitted to ERs between 2013 and 2017. Time of disease onset, type of MD according to published criteria, diagnostic workup, and outcome were collected.
73.9% of patients had hyperkinetic MD. Tremor was the most common symptom (19.8%), followed by myoclonus (17.7%), dystonia (15.6%), and chorea (11.4%). Other hyperkinetic MD (9.4%) included were gait disorders (imbalance due to involuntary movement), dyskinesia, akathisia, hemiballism, and oculogyric crisis. Hypokinetic MD included acute parkinsonism (15.6%), off-state (4%), akinesia (3%), and rigidity (3%). Co-occurrence of more than one MD was seen in 19.7% of patients. Time delay to medical consultation was between < 24 h and 28 days. Five etiological groups were recognized: drug-induced (29.2%), functional (19.8%), neurodegenerative diseases (15.6%), structural brain damage (11.5%), others (24.0%, metabolic, inflammatory, infective, undetermined). Outcome was better for neurodegenerative diseases and for drug-induced MD. Functional movement disorders (FMD) showed less favorable outcome.
Acute MD is a distinct cause of ER admission, and a variety of treatable diseases may be the underlying cause of this symptom. Uncertain course is more probable in FMD and in structural brain lesions.
KeywordsMovement disorders Emergency Drug-induced Functional Neurodegenerative
DC, BM, MT—study concept and design
DC, AC, AL, GM, SM—data collection
DC, BM—statistical analysis
DC, BM—analysis and interpretation
DC, MA, AC, BM—critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content
Compliance with ethical standards
Data has been acquired according to modern ethical standards and has been approved by the legally appropriated ethical committee.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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