Management of rare movement diseases in different world regions

the Rare Movement Disorders Study Group of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


To evaluate the management of rare movement disorders (RMD) at the international level and identify care needs to be addressed, the Rare Movement Disorders Study Group of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) has conducted an exploratory survey. We sent an online survey to experts in Africa, Asia, Oceania and American continents following the classification of the MDS Regional Sections: Africa, Asia and Oceania (A&O), and Pan-America. We did not include Europe as the European Reference Network for Rare Neurological Diseases recently performed a similar care needs survey across European countries. We obtained responses from experts from 20 African, 26 A&O and 19 Pan-American countries. According to the respondents, only 55% of African countries had movement disorders experts, while these were present in 96% of A&O and 91% of Pan-American. Access to care for patients with RMD was stated difficult in 70% of African, 54% of A&O, and 65% of Pan-American countries. Africa was the region with greatest difficulties in accessing diagnostic tests. However, in Pan-America and A&O, large inequalities were observed between countries with quite variable access to therapeutic options such as deep brain stimulation. The survey results reflect wide variability in the management of RMD and provide evidence that a worldwide care-focused network is highly warranted. Scientific and medical organisations should raise awareness of deficits in managing RMD and care disparities among regions. The goals should be to facilitate the training of professionals, establish improvement strategies, and increase support and budgeting for these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105286
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Management
  • Movement disorders
  • Rare diseases
  • Survey


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