Chorea, unpredictable movements: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Movement – unpredictable or jerky; Chorea; Musclejerky movements (uncontrolled); Hyperkinetic movements

Chorea is a type of movement disorder, which causes involuntary, unpredictable and fast movements. The term "chorea" comes from the Greek word "chorein", what does it mean to dance. People with chorea experience jerky and rapid movements, that may interfere with their daily activities. In this article, we will look at, what is chorea, her reasons, symptoms, when to contact a healthcare professional, questions, that your doctor may ask, diagnostics, treatment, home treatment and prevention.

What is chorea?

Chorea is a movement disorder, which results in unpredictable and rapid limb movements, faces and bodies. These movements are often jerky and jerky and can vary in frequency., amplitude and direction. Chorea can affect people of any age and gender., but most commonly seen in children and young adults. The severity of the disorder can vary greatly from person to person.: some people may only have mild symptoms, while others may have more severe and disabling movements.

Causes of chorea

Chorea can be caused by various underlying diseases, including:

  • Huntington's Disease: It is a genetic disease, causing progressive damage to brain cells.
    Chorea Sidengama: it's a type of chorea, streptococcal infection.
  • Neuroacanthocytosis syndrome: is a group of rare genetic diseases, affecting the nervous system.
  • Chorea, associated with pregnancy: it's a type of chorea, which occurs in some women during pregnancy or after childbirth.
  • Chorea, drug-induced: some medications can cause chorea as a side effect.
  • Other medical conditions: chorea can also be caused by these conditions, like metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, brain tumors and exposure to certain toxins.

Chorea symptoms

Symptoms of chorea can vary greatly from person to person., but the most common symptoms include:

  • Fast, involuntary and unpredictable limb movements, faces and bodies.
  • Difficulty performing fine motor skills, eg, when writing or buttoning clothes.
  • Uncoordinated movements, such as tripping or falling
  • Unusual facial expressions, such as grimacing or sticking out the tongue.
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing

When to contact a healthcare professional

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of chorea, it is important to seek medical attention. Chorea may be a sign of an underlying disease, requiring treatment. A doctor or specialist can help diagnose the underlying cause of the disorder and prescribe appropriate treatment..

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When you visit your doctor for chorea, he or she may ask you the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms first appear??
  • Have you noticed any changes in your symptoms over time?
  • Have you had any recent infections or illnesses?
  • Have you taken any new medications or supplements?
  • Have you been recently exposed to toxins or chemicals?
  • Do you have a family history of movement disorders?

Diagnosis of chorea

Diagnosing chorea can be challenging, because there is no single test, which could definitively diagnose the disease. Your doctor, probably, will begin with a thorough history taking and physical examination, including neurological examination. Additional tests, which can be fulfilled, include:

  • Blood tests: to check for any underlying diseases, such as infections or metabolic disorders.
  • Imaging studies: An MRI or CT scan can be used to visualize the brain and identify any structural abnormalities.
  • Genetic testing: genetic testing may be done if Huntington's disease is suspected, to determine, does the person have a genetic mutation, disease-causing.

Chorea treatment

Treatment for chorea will depend on the underlying cause of the disorder.. If chorea is caused by an underlying disease, treating this condition often improves chorea. For Example, if the chorea is caused by an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection. If the chorea is caused by a drug, switching to another medication may improve symptoms.

Huntington's disease is incurable, but medications may be prescribed, helping to manage the symptoms of chorea and other associated symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.

In some cases, anticonvulsants may be prescribed., such as valproate or carbamazepine, to control choreic movements. Other medications, such as tetrabenazine or deitetrabenazine, can also be used to control movement in some people.

In cases, when the cause is unknown, treatment may include medication to reduce involuntary movements. Examples of drugs, used to treat chorea, include:

  • Antipsychotics: these medicines help reduce involuntary movements.
  • Muscle relaxants: these drugs help reduce muscle spasticity and relax the muscles.
  • Anticonvulsants: these drugs help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.

Chorea Home Treatment

In addition to seeking medical attention, there are some things, things people with chorea can do at home, to manage your symptoms:

  • Practice good sleep hygiene: getting enough sleep can help increase energy levels and reduce the severity of choreic movements.
  • Stay physically active: regular exercise can help improve physical function and coordination.
  • Follow a healthy diet: diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, may help improve overall health and well-being.
  • Avoid Triggers: if you think, that certain activities or situations impair your choreic movements, try to avoid these triggers.

Prevention of chorea

In some cases, chorea can be prevented, treating underlying conditions or avoiding triggers, that can cause distress. For Example, avoiding exposure to toxins or chemicals may help prevent chorea in some people. There is no known prevention for Huntington's disease., because the disease is caused by a genetic mutation.

In conclusion, chorea is a type of movement disorder, which can cause rapid and involuntary movements of the limbs, faces and bodies. The causes of chorea can vary greatly., and a doctor or specialist will be able to diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment. In addition to seeking medical attention, people with chorea can also be helped to manage their symptoms., following the rules of sleep hygiene, staying physically active, eating a healthy diet and avoiding triggers, which may worsen their symptoms.

Used sources and literature

Jankovic J, Just AE. Diagnosis and assessment of Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 24.

Okun MS, Just AE. Other movement disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 382.

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