Neurological Complications of Endocrine Emergencies

Link to article at PubMed

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2021 Mar 11;21(5):21. doi: 10.1007/s11910-021-01105-2.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Endocrine disorders are the result of insufficient or excessive hormonal production. The clinical course is long, and the manifestations are nonspecific due to the systemic effect of hormones across many organs and systems including the nervous system. This is a narrative review of the recent evidence of the diagnosis and treatment approach of these medical and neurological emergencies.

RECENT FINDINGS: With the possible exception of diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, and hypoglycemia, endocrinological emergencies are complex, uncommon yet life-threatening conditions with protean and often nonspecific early clinical signs. They frequently are the first manifestation of the endocrine derangement. The systemic effects of hormones extend to the nervous system and as such, these conditions can present with neurological complications manifested, in most cases, by a diffuse dysfunction of the brain in the form of encephalopathy, delirium, seizures, and coma; or specific and peculiar syndromes such as hemichorea, hemiballism, and epilepsia partialis continua. The severity of these conditions often necessitates management in the intensive care unit requiring substantial supportive care in addition to specific targeted therapy to correct the hormonal metabolic abnormalities while at the same time blocking hormonal activity, in cases of excessive function, or supplementing hormonal deficiencies. Endocrine emergencies and their neurological complications are infrequent. The major challenge for most is early recognition. Their morbidity and mortality are high and their diagnosis requires high index of suspicion. The neurological complication most often improves with the correction of the metabolic derangement and their acuity and severity require admission to the intensive care unit.

PMID:33709163 | DOI:10.1007/s11910-021-01105-2

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