Chorea


Specialty of Neurology

Chorea

What is chorea?

Chorea is an abnormal involuntary movement disorder characterised by rapid movement of the hands or feet that are similar to dancing. These movements can range from minor and fidgety movements to movements that are more expansive, they can be fast or slow and the person can sometimes be seen to be moving in pain. The word chorea comes from the Greek word choros meaning to dance.

What causes this pathology?

There are many associated conditions or suspected causes of chorea, for example, Huntingdon’s disease can cause chorea symptoms. Other genetic disorders can also cause the condition, while a streptococcal infection or rheumatoid fever can have the after effects of bringing on chorea symptoms especially in children and adolescents. There are other associated disease like AIDS and other immune, endocrine and metabolic diseases that can bring on the symptoms of chorea. There is a specific type of chorea that only occurs in pregnancy (chorea gravidarum), and subsides once the women has given birth.

How is chorea treated?

Because of the diverse causes and factors associated with the disease, the treatment must first involve an accurate diagnosis of the cause and origin of the particular case. Some diseases like Huntingdon’s have no known cure, while other cases can be treated with medication that affects the dopamine receptors in the brain, others with electrode treatment like deep brain surgery and others with antibiotics.

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