Shetty, A.; Tubridy, N.; Rudge, P.; Vega, R.; Polymeros, D.; Schon, F.; Forbes, A.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA67
Academic Journal
Background: The literature on the extra-intestinal complications of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has always included reference to the neurological problems that occur in patients with these conditions. These patients tend to be more prone to stroke and sensorineural deafi ness but there is only a small literature on associations with other neurological diseases occuring concurrently with IBD. Aim: To find if there is any association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other neurological conditions. Patients and Methods: We studied prospectively 888 patients attending a single IBD clinic and as hospital controls used 700 patients who attended for open access endoscopy at 2 hospital units. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire. Subjects for whom there was a high suspicion of neurological disease from the questionnaire were then contacted by telephone by the neurological team to determine more accurately the nature of the problem or the reason for any of the neurological investigations, as were a similar number of negative responders. Results: Of the IBD patients, 7 (0.8%) had clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to none in the control group (p<0.025). One further IBD patient has clinically probable MS. Peripheral neuropathy and epilepsy were also more common in our IBD group, 12 (1.4%) v4 (0.6%) and 14 (1.6%) v5 (0.7%) respectively, but this was not statistically significant (p<0.2). Stroke (1.6% v 2.4%), myasthenia gravis (0.1% v 0.2%), deafness (8.4% v 11.1%) and migraine 18.4% v 17%) were equally represented in the IBD group and hospital controls respectively. Discussion: We conclude that there is a true association between multiple sclerosis and IBD. We also found an increased prevalence of peripheral neuropathy and epilepsy. Further work is ongoing to look at possible immunological and genetic similarities between MS and IBD.


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