Crohn's Disease Patients More Likely to Develop Neurological Issues

Specialty Pharmacy Times, March/April 2015, Volume 6, Issue 2

Patients with Crohn’s disease are more likely to develop neuromuscular diseases than patients with gastritis and dyspepsia, a recent study indicates.

The study noted that the most common neurological diseases in patients with bowel disease include migraine, peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome, demyelinating central nervous system disease, and cerebrovascular disease. For the study, investigators examined the prevalence of neurological disorders in 121 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—51 with Crohn’s disease and 70 with ulcerative colitis—and 50 control patients with gastritis and dyspepsia over 3 years.

Standard neurological evaluations, including electrodiagnostic testing, found that Crohn’s disease patients were 7.4 times more likely to develop large-fiber neuropathy than patients in the control group, 7.1 times more likely to develop any type of neuromuscular condition, and 5.1 times more likely to develop autonomic complaints.

Crohn’s disease patients also had lower levels of vitamin B12 and were more likely to develop B12 deficiency or borderline B12 levels. Additionally, there were a higher proportion of Crohn’s disease patients found to have thyroid disease.

“Further studies are necessary to understand the exact nature of several sensory symptoms experienced by IBD patients that may include the involvement of complex changes on central neuroplasticity and function of small fibers and sensory and autonomic ganglia,” the study authors wrote. “Long-term follow-up at the end of the cohort study will also establish whether other conditions (especially central) are also more prevalent in IBD patients.” SPT