Aim  The cognitive and psychiatric aspects of adult movement disorders are well established, but specific behavioural profiles for paediatric movement disorders have not been delineated. Knowledge of non-motor phenotypes may guide treatment and determine which symptoms are suggestive of a specific movement disorder and which indicate medication effects.

Method  The goal of this review is to outline the known cognitive and psychiatric symptoms associated with paediatric movement disorders. We used a systematic approach, via PubMed, and reviewed over 400 abstracts of studies of selected disorders, of which 88 papers reporting paediatric non-motor symptoms are summarized.

Results  Obsessive–compulsive disorder was manifest in children with paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections and Sydenham chorea. Children with opsoclonus–myoclonus syndrome had, for the most part, cognitive and behavioural problems, and attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder was reported as a major comorbidity in Tourette syndrome, stereotypies, and restless legs syndrome. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were more frequent in individuals with idiopathic dystonia. Affective disorders were suggestive of Wilson disease. Cognitive decline was common in children with juvenile Huntington disease. A limitation of this review was the lack of systematic assessment in paediatric movement disorders for evaluation and uniform definitions.

Interpretation  Although the literature in non-motor phenomena is still emerging, recognition of salient cognitive and psychiatric phenomena may facilitate management of paediatric movement disorders.