Frequency of movement disorders in an Ethiopian university practice



There is little information on the frequency of movement disorders seen by physicians in the continent of Africa. We performed a medical record review of all patients seen in a university-based neurology clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, over 1 year to determine the frequency of movement disorders seen, disease characteristics, diagnostic evaluations, and treatment. A total of 15.1% of the neurological patients were seen for movement disorders. Of these, most were for parkinsonism (47.7%), followed by ataxia (16.5%), dystonia (8.3%), essential tremor (8.3%), chorea (7.3%), and miscellaneous (11.9%). Diagnostic evaluations were limited, but treatment was available, although expensive. In spite of the limitations, patients with movement disorders require and seek care in Ethiopia in proportions comparable to developed nations. This finding underlines the need for adequate training in movement disorders for physicians and neurologists in Africa. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society