Abnormal movements in hospitalized COVID-19 patients: A case series

Jeffrey R. Clark, Eric M. Liotta, Nicholas J. Reish, Nathan A. Shlobin, Steven C. Hoffman, Zachary S. Orban, Patrick H. Lim, Igor J. Koralnik, Ayush Batra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Abnormal movements in Covid-19 patients have been reported with varying degree of frequency, prompting neurologic consultation and additional diagnostic evaluation. We sought to evaluate the frequency and etiology of abnormal movements among hospitalized Covid-19 patients undergoing neurologic consultation. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the first 50 consecutive patients with confirmed Covid-19 hospitalized at our tertiary medical care center who underwent acute inpatient neurology consultation from March 2020 through May 2020. Indication for neurologic consultation and diagnostic studies performed were identified by electronic medical record review. Results: Of the 50 initial consultation requests, 11 (22.0%) patients were evaluated for abnormal movements (nine male and two female). Myoclonus was diagnosed in 6/11 (54.5%) patients. Additionally, two patients were diagnosed with seizures (confirmed on EEG in one), while two additional patients were diagnosed with tremor (physiologic and probable functional). A single case of serotonin syndrome was also identified. Conclusion: Abnormal movements observed in hospitalized Covid-19 patients can have a wide range of etiologies and were a frequent initial indication for neurologic consultation. Myoclonus was the most frequent type of abnormal movement observed. Early clinical recognition and directed diagnostic work-up is essential for accurate diagnoses in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117377
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Movement disorder
  • Myoclonus
  • Seizure
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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