Nosology and Phenomenology of Psychosis in Movement Disorders

Malco Rossi, Nicole Farcy, Sergio E. Starkstein, Marcelo Merello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, are part of the clinical picture of several conditions presenting movement disorders. Phenomenology and epidemiology of psychosis in Parkinson's disease have received wide attention; however, the presence of psychosis in other movement disorders is, comparatively, less well known. Objectives: To review psychotic symptoms present in different movement disorders. Methods: A comprehensive and structured literature search was performed to identify and analyze data on patients with movement disorders and comorbid psychosis. Results: In monogenic parkinsonisms, such as PARK-GBA, PARK-LRRK2, and PARK-SNCA, visual hallucinations related to dopamine replacement therapy are frequent as well as are delusions in PARK-LRRK2 and PARK-SNCA, but not in PARK-GBA. Different types of delusions and hallucinations are found in Huntington's disease and other choreic disorders. In Tourette's syndrome, paranoid delusions as well as visual, olfactory, and auditory hallucinations have been described, which usually develop after an average of 10 years of disease. Delusions in ataxias are more frequent in ATX-TBP, ATX-ATN1, and ATX-ATXN3, whereas it is rare in Friedreich's ataxia. Psychosis is also a prominent and frequent clinical feature in Fahr's disease, Wilson's disease, neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, and some lysosomal storage disorders, whereas it is uncommon in atypical parkinsonisms and dystonia. Psychosis usually occurs at late disease stages, but may appear as onset symptoms of the disease, especially in Wilson's disease, Huntington's disease, late-onset Tays-Sachs, and Niemann-Pick. Conclusion: Psychosis is a frequent comorbidity in most hyper- and hypokinetic movement disorders. Appropriate recognition is relevant both in the early and late disease stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-153
Number of pages14
JournalMovement disorders clinical practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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