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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Infection Related Movement Disorder Study Group


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Have questions? Contact the MDS Staff Liaison for this group: Sarah Wahlstrom Helgren,


The main missions of the IRMD will be to

  • To create a common global platform for all those who are interested in movement disorders related to infections.  
  • To facilitate and promote education, better understanding and research in infection related movement disorders.  
  • To launch an international registry of IRMD with emphasis on types of infection, phenomenology/syndrome of movement disorders, levels of diagnostic certainty, natural history and long-term outcome. 
  1. Determine the global prevalence of movement disorders associated with infection/neuroinfection. 
  2. To identify research goals in IRMDs with regards to epidemiology, risk factors, pathophysiology, and therapeutics.  
  3. To ascertain the clinical profile, prognosis and natural history of presumed IRMDs through review of published literature.  
  4. To establish diagnostic criteria and define levels of diagnostic certainty for IRMDs (e.g. possible, probable and definite) based on clinical and laboratory evaluations 3  
  5. To understand the mechanism of basal ganglia/extrapyramidal system involvement in systemic/nervous system infections (direct, immune mediated, delayed, neurotropism)  
  6. To understand the causal relationship between infections and autoimmune disorders of nervous system resulting in movement disorders  
  7. To explore the risk factors resulting in development of IRMDs  
  8. To explore the presence, if any a causal association of infections and late-life neurodegeneration resulting in disorders such as parkinsonism  
  9. To explore the role played by gut microbiota in neurodegeneration and movement disorders  
  10. To study the epidemiology of IRMDs based on geographical regions  
  11. To create an International Resource Database with video-based case studies of common and rare IRMDs.  
  12. To form an international database on patients with COVID-19 having Movement Disorders concurrent with infection or on follow up 

Infections are one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality globally and a variety of movement disorders occur during or after an infectious illness with or without apparent involvement of the nervous system. The exact pathophysiology of infection related movement disorders (IRMDs) is still elusive; apart from the direct involvement of the basal ganglia and extrapyramidal system, other mechanisms have been postulated including immune-mediated injury. Moreover, there are other unknown risk and susceptibility factors which predispose an individual to develop IRMD. Several infections including prion diseases, viral (retrovirus, arbovirus, measles, etc.), bacterial (streptococcal, mycobacterium tuberculosis, treponema pallidum, etc.) and parasitic (cysticercosis, toxoplasma) have been implicated to produce a variety of movement disorders with different phenomenology and temporal profile, and the prevalence of these have wide geographic variations. Some neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease are thought to have causal relation with past infection as well as 2 alteration of gut microbiota. Finally, the recent Corona virus pandemic has led to concern of delayed neurological sequelae including movement disorders.


Current Projects


This group iscurrently working on topics related to herpes, encephalitis, TB, SSPE, and Dengue. Among these, a comprehensive review on movement disorders related to SSPE has been submitted and is under revision.  

Additionally, the study group has recently been working on a Criteria and Classification for Infection Related Movement Disorders. This paper has been submitted and is under review.  

Video Case Discussions

Every other month, the IRMD Study Group leads a video case series to share and collaborate on interesting infection-related movement disorders.

To participate, join the study group and email the group liaison at to be added to the video case study mailing list.  



Chair: Pramod Kumar Pal (India)

Co-Chair: Susanne Schneider (Germany)

Steering Committee

Ferzana Amod (South Africa)
Francisco Cardoso (Brazil)
Pramod Kumar Pal (India)
Susanne Schneider (Germany)
Yoshikazu Ugawa (Japan)

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