Preliminary examination of the symptoms followed by a past medical history is done. Thereafter, laboratory studies are carried out to analyze the underlying etiology. Genetic testing is carried out for diagnosing Huntington’s disease. Imaging studies such as MRI and Position emission tomography are also indicated.
The prognosis of the condition depends on the underlying etiology. If infections are the cause, then antibiotics can cure chorea; however, if Huntington’s disease is the cause, then the condition cannot be cured. Endocrine conditions that cause chorea eventually improve with treatment of the endocrine disorder.
Chorea is associated with various conditions. These include AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), certain drugs such as neuroleptics and levodopa, infections and genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease. Studies have postulated the fact that individuals with Huntington’s disease are at a 50% increased risk of developing chorea. In addition, immunity related disorders such as Systemic lupus erythematosus and endocrine disorders like hypoglycemia can also increase the likelihood of developing chorea.
The exact incidence of chorea is unknown. The prevalence of rate of Huntington’s disease is about 5 to 10 cases per 100,000 individuals .
Benign hereditary chorea is a rare disorder with an incidence rate of 1 case per 500,000 individuals. Another condition which gives rise to chorea is Wilson's disease. It is also a rare form of disorder occurring only in 30 cases per 1 million individuals.
Neurophysiological abnormalities that originate in the motor cortex and basal ganglia give rise to hyperkinetic movements. Basal ganglia and motor cortex include neuronal network such as caudate nuclei, globus pallidus externa, globus pallidus interna, thalamus and subthalamus. From the globus pallidus interna arise several GABAergic projections that extend up to the thalamus. Any form of dysfunction in these projections can lead to chorea .
It gets difficult to prevent chorea once it has occurred due to a reactive action of certain drugs; therefore, it becomes paramount that the use of such drugs is prevented. Genetic counselling during pregnancy can help in detection of Huntington’s disease so that patients can make informed decisions. Antibiotic prophylaxis should be continued for at least 10 years in the patients who have suffered from rheumatic fever.
Chorea is a type of neurological disorder belonging to the group of dyskinesias. Chorea often accompanies a type of disorder known as athetosis which causes the affected individual to experience writhing and twisting movements. Severe form of chorea characterized by thrashing motions is known as ballism . Development of chorea is often a primary characteristic of Huntington’s disease which is also a movement disorder. The treatment depends on the underlying etiology and severity of the condition .
Chorea is a disorder involving involuntary movements of the certain parts of the body. It belongs to the group of neurological disorders known as dyskinesias. Huntington’s disease is the major known causative factor. Other less common factors include infections, drugs, autoimmune diseases, genetic diseases and rheumatic fever. Individuals with chorea experience involuntary movements of legs, hands, feet and tongue. The involuntary movements occur by themselves and are not rhythmic or repetitive in nature.
Treating the causative factor helps in controlling the symptoms and managing the condition. Medications such as antipsychotics are given for controlling the symptoms. When these aren't enough, surgery is carried out to conduct deep brain stimulation.