Familial psychogenic movement disorders

Authors

  • Maria Stamelou MD, PhD,

    1. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
    2. Department of Neurology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
    3. Neurology Clinic, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany
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    • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

  • Giovanni Cossu MD,

    1. Neurology Unit, Cagliari, Italy
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    • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

  • Mark J. Edwards MD,

    1. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
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  • Daniela Murgia MD,

    1. Neurology Unit, Cagliari, Italy
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  • Isabel Pareés MD,

    1. Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
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  • Maurizio Melis MD,

    1. Neurology Clinic, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany
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  • Kailash P. Bhatia MD, FRCPn

    Corresponding author
    • Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
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  • Funding agencies: This work was undertaken at University ColUniversity College London, which received a pro/University College London, which received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centers funding scheme.

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: Prof. K. P. Bhatia, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG United Kingdom; k.bhatia@ion.ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background

Psychogenic (or functional) movement disorders (PMDs) are considered sporadic. Despite the growing literature describing the clinical features and the natural history of sporadic cases with PMDs, their occurrence in familial clusters is not reported.

Methods

We identified 10 patients from 5 families affected by PMDs. In this report, we describe the clinical characteristics along with videos and long-term follow-up of these patients.

Results

Clinical clues from the history and signs suggesting a functional origin of the symptoms in these patients with familial PMD were similar to those identified in sporadic cases. The phenomenology of the PMD was similar in the affected members of the same family.

Conclusions

We wish to highlight that a positive family history does not necessarily imply an organic disorder. When a positive family history for a condition is reported by a patient with PMD, examination of these further affected members may be needed and may identify further family members suffering from PMDs. A positive family history of PMDs may be an additional risk factor for developing PMDs. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

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