Pregnancy and movement disorders

L. I. Golbe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The concurrence of pregnancy and movement disorders is an uncommon event in a general neurologic practice. Even at specialized movement disorder referral centers, there is insufficient experience to adequately guide management of pregnancy, except perhaps in the case of WD. The questions posed most urgently by patients regard the safety of medication, an issue on which there is insufficient data, and their ability to care for a child for at least the next decade, an issue that differs by disease and social situation. The author's formulation of efficacy and toxicity suggests that certain medications commonly used in movement disorders should be discontinued before pregnancy, if possible. These medications include neuroleptics, amantadine, diazepam, primidone, selegiline, and reserpine. Pregnancy may unmask a pre-existing potential for chorea (i.e., chorea gravidarum) and frequently has a mild exacerbating effect on symptoms of PD; however, it has little effect on other movement disorders. Severe generalized dystonia would probably interfere with vaginal delivery, but the scant existing data suggest minimal effect of movement disorders on pregnancy, childbirth, and neonatal health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-508
Number of pages12
JournalNeurologic clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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