Vol 55, No 6 (2021)
Review Article
Published online: 2021-10-12

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Autoimmune mediated hyperkinetic movement disorders in SARS-CoV-2 infection — a systematic review

Adam S. Hirschfeld1
Pubmed: 34637137
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2021;55(6):549-558.


Introduction. Various neurological symptoms have been confirmed in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some of these are undoubtedly the aftermath of the developing inflammation and increased coagulation processes. However, there is also a group of symptoms that derive from possible autoimmune processes. These include primary hyperkinetic movement disorders such as myoclonus, ataxia, opsoclonus, and tremors. This study systematically reviews scientific reports presenting patients with hyperkinetic movement disorders as one of the neurological symptoms.

Material and methods. The available literature was systematically reviewed as per the recommendations of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The PubMed database was used in the range from 1 April, 2020, to 31 July, 2021.

Results. The PubMed database search identified 102 cases of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who developed hyperkinetic movement disorders. After excluding patients undergoing mechanical ventilation (n = 46) and a few other cases (n = 7), a group of 49 non-intubated patients was obtained. The mean age of the patients was 57.92 years, and 75.51% of the patients were male. The most common hyperkinetic movement disorders were ataxia (83.67%), myoclonus (67.35%), and tremor (30.61%). Symptoms appeared on average within two weeks of the first symptoms of infection. Most patients had symptoms significantly
reduced or withdrawn (67.44%) or early partial improvement (30.23%).

Conclusions. Based on the meta-analysis, it can be concluded that hyperkinetic movement disorders in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection are an early symptom with a potential autoimmune background. They have a good prognosis with the applied treatment. Further observations are needed to determine their frequency and the most effective methods of treatment.

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