Uncommon Movement Disorders in Chronic Hepatic Disease with Response to Rifaximin

Sousa, Ana L.; Salgado, Paula; Alves, José E.; Silva, Sara; Ferreira, Sofia; Magalhães, Marina

Background: Chronic hepatic disease can present with extrapyramidal symptoms. We describe two cases that presented with highly unusual movement disorders: ballism and gait freezing.

Case report: Patient 1 is a 42-year-old man with previous episodes of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) who presented with upper limb dystonia and generalized chorea that progressed to ballism. Patient 2 is a 55-year-old woman who presented with pronounced gait freezing. In both patients, features of HE and acquired hepatocerebral degeneration coexisted. They improved markedly, though transiently, with rifaximin.

Discussion: Ammonia-reducing treatments should be considered in patients presenting with movement disorders due to chronic liver disease.


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Also Published In

Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Published Here
December 13, 2019