Acanthocytosis as a predisposing factor for non-ketotic hyperglycaemia induced chorea-ballism

A. Pisani, M. Diomedi, A. Rum, P. Cianciulli, R. Floris, A. Orlacchio, G. Bernardi, P. Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Episodic non-ketotic hyperglycaemia in patients with diabetes may be responsible for a syndrome characterised by hemichorea-hemiballism associated with unique radiological features. Objective: To investigate whether factors other than hyperglycaemia may be responsible for the neurological involvement. Methods: Three patients who developed a persistent choreaballism syndrome triggered by a hyperglycaemic crisis were investigated. In these patients, the persistence of the involuntary movements required neuroleptic medication. Results: T1 weighted magnetic resonance imaging revealed bilateral hyperintense lesions involving the striatum. Surprisingly, in these patients, the laboratory investigations revealed peripheral red blood cell acanthocytosis in a significant proportion of cells. Conclusion: Compared with the large population of patients with diabetes who do not show abnormal involuntary movements, unrecognised acanthocytosis in diabetes might render patients prone to develop hemichorea-hemiballism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1717-1719
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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