Chorea can be caused in several other conditions as well such as Sydenham’s chorea (a complication of rheumatic fever), drugs (levodopa, anti-convulsants, and anti-psychotics), metabolic and endocrine disorders, and vascular incidents. Prognosis of people with chorea depends on type of chorea and the associated disease.
Chorea is a major presenting symptom of Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is a chronic progressive, neurological disease that is ultimately, fatal. It causes certain nerve cells in your brain to degenerate and die. This in turn can lead to uncontrolled movements, emotional disturbances and mental deterioration. There are medications to control the signs and symptoms of Huntington's disease. However, the physical and mental decline associated with the condition cannot be prevented with treatment and the disease is fatal.
Sydenham's chorea a symptom of rheumatic fever and is treatable and curable. These patients have arthritis, fever, and psychological symptoms (emotional lability, decreased attention span and obsessive-compulsive symptoms). A patient with Sydenham's chorea has uncontrollable twitching or jerking of any part of the body which worsens when trying to repress it but disappears with sleep. The intensity of chorea increases progressively and then gradually resolves (over 1 to 3 months and in rare cases up to 6 months).
There is a risk of recurrence of chorea in patients who have suffered one or more attacks of Sydenham’s chorea. The risk of developing chorea is especially increased during adult life and in women during pregnancy (chorea gravidarum), or when exposed to certain drugs (such as oral contraceptives, digoxin, or phenytoin).
It has a gradual onset, and is not associated with other causes of chorea. It is not associated with personality changes, and is most often seen in people over the age of 60.
Prognosis of some of the causes of chorea is given here. If you or someone close (family or friend) to you has abnormal involuntary movements; consult a doctor. Correct diagnosis is important as the prognosis varies with cause and treatment also depends on the cause of chorea.
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