Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements

Athetoid Movements as Initial Manifestation of Primary Sjögren Syndrome

Norma L. Alvarado-Franco, Catalina Gonzalez-Marques, Leticia A. Olguín-Ramírez, Alejandro Garza-Alpirez, Giovana Femat-Roldan, Daniel Martinez-Ramirez


Background: Primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by exocrine gland and extraglandular symptoms. We present a case report of pSS with an initial presentation of athetoid movements.

Case Report: A 74-year-old female presented with a 2-month history of slow undulating movements in her trunk and thighs that eventually spread to her neck and lower extremities. She also reported dry eyes, dry mouth, as well as pain in her shoulders and thighs. Her proinflammatory markers and rheumatologic profile were positive. Her salivary gland biopsy revealed a Focus score > 2. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was normal. A diagnosis of pSS was made. The patient’s symptoms improved with hydroxychloroquine, pilocarpine, gabapentin, and clonazepam.

Discussion: Clinicians should consider and screen for primary autoimmune disorders as a cause of subacute athetoid movements in elderly patients. Although aggressive treatment has been recommended, treatment should be tailored to each patient’s specific needs.


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