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S Rajendra, ZA Kadir, N Karim, Z Zain
Correspondence: Dr Shanmugarajah Rajendra, firstname.lastname@example.org
Neurological involvement associated with inflammatory bowel disease is well established though rarely reported in the literature. The coexistence of motor neurone disease with ulcerative colitis has never been previously documented. The case of a 53-year-old Indian male with distal ulcerative colitis who, two and a half years later, developed dysarthria, dysphagia, a wasted fasciculating tongue and palatal palsy characteristic of bulbar type motor neurone disease is described. Topical and oral steroids together with azathioprine and mesalazine suppositories controlled the bowel symptoms but did not improve the neurological deficit. Subsequently, the antiglutamate agent riluzole improved the mobility of his tongue. The close temporal relationship and relative infrequency of both these conditions in a Malaysian population along with the recognised association between ulcerative colitis and other neurological conditions deserve careful consideration as to whether a common denominator is involved. Documentation of coexistence of both disorders in a single patient is important in case similar associations are reported in future.
Keywords: ulcerative colitis, motor neurone disease, neurological complication, free radicals
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(8): 423-425