Inflammatory bowel disease patients at neurological risk

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of developing neurological disorders, say Brazilian researchers.

Crohn's disease patients are at increased risk of neurological disorders
Crohn's disease patients are at increased risk of neurological disorders

But these conditions are misdiagnosed as rheumatological disorders, they claim.

Over the two-year study, researchers looked for neurological conditions in 37 patients with Crohn's disease , 66 with ulcerative colitis and 51 with non-IBD gastrointestinal problems including dyspepsia, gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Neurological evaluation showed that patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerated colitis were around six times more likely to have sensorimotor polyneuropathy than the non-IBD group.

Patients with both diseases  were around four times more likely than those without IBD to have neuromuscular diseases such as paresthaesias.

The findings were presented this week at the 59th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston.

Patients with ulcerative colitis were four times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than those without IBD.

Lead researcher Professor Francisco De Assis Gondim, from the Federal University of Ceara, said: 'These nerve conditions are often not diagnosed by patients' primary care physicians.

'People with IBD and who are in pain should see a doctor.'

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

American Academy of Neurology

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