Chorea treatment

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About Chorea

Chorea is a movement disorder that causes involuntary and unpredictable body movements. These movements can make an individual appear as though they are dancing or fidgeting. Chorea rarely, if ever, appears by itself. Instead, it is usually a symptom of another condition - commonly a neurological disease. Aging individuals may experience chorea as a natural result of aging, but for the most part, chorea occurs in concurrence with another condition.

Common causes of chorea include:

- Huntington’s disease: Huntington’s disease is inherited through genetics, and occurs when nerve cells break down in the brain. This condition generally progresses slowly over 10-20 years.

- Sydenham’s chorea: Children may experience chorea symptoms several months after recovering from rheumatic fever. This type of chorea usually affects the hands, arms, and face. In most cases, Sydenham’s chorea will go away within a year or two without treatment.

- Autoimmune diseases: Conditions such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Sjogren syndrome may cause symptoms of chorea along with the various other symptoms of the disease.

- Metabolic and endocrine disorders: Conditions such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, hepatic (liver) failure, and others have been shown to cause chorea symptoms.

- Medication usage: Levodopa (used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease), antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and neuroleptics (antipsychotic medications) have been linked to symptoms of chorea.

- Pregnancy: Known as chorea gravidarum, chorea symptoms in concurrence with pregnancy is rare. These effects generally begin in the first three months of pregnancy, and will usually go away on their own once the baby has been born.

In addition to involuntary muscle movements, chorea may lead to speech problems, difficulty controlling the tongue, and headaches.

Even if your symptoms are mild, chorea may signal the presence of an underlying condition that requires medical treatment. Individuals with a family history of Huntington’s disease, autoimmune disorders, or have been previously diagnosed with rheumatic fever are at an increased risk of developing chorea. If you are experiencing involuntary movement or unexplained difficulty with speech, talk to your health care provider about your symptoms.

Treatment Options

Below is a list of common treatment options for chorea. During your appointment, discuss these with your doctor to determine the right treatment plan for you.

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