Chorea is a form of hyperkinesis; characterized by involuntary, fast, irregular movements that occur in different muscle groups. The term "chorea" is used to refer to both independent diseases in which choreic hyperkinesis is the leading manifestation (for example, minor chorea, Huntington chorea), and a number of syndromes that occur in various diseases.
Choreic hyperkinesis can be a manifestation of many pathological conditions and diseases: focal cerebral circulation disorders in the area of subcortical nodes, viral encephalitis, lupus erythematosus, polycythemia; may occur when carbon monoxide poisoning, manganese, carbon disulfide, while taking certain drugs - amphetamine, levodopa, chlorpromazine derivatives. Any external stimulation, emotional arousal increases the severity of choreic hyperkinesis, it diminishes at rest, disappears during sleep. With marked hyperkinesia, eating, walking, standing, etc., become impossible. Involuntary movements, as a rule, develop against the background of muscular hypotension.
Small (or rheumatic) chorea - acute toxic and infectious disease due to the rheumatic process. Arises at children's or young age, develops gradually. The child becomes awkward, his handwriting changes, fussiness, general anxiety, blurred speech, restless sleep appear. Against this background, involuntary movements are noticeable with a sufficiently large amplitude and the lack of a certain expediency, grimacing is noted. In the advanced stage of the disease, chaotic scattering of arms and legs, head twitching are observed, grimacing increases, impulsive movements of the body appear. The development of hyperkinesis, as a rule, is combined with general asthenia, increased excitability, and emotional instability. On average, small chorea takes 2 to 4 months. Prolonged and erased forms sometimes last up to one year and are prone to relapses.
Chorea can develop during pregnancy in young women who have had small chorea in childhood.
Chorea Huntington - a hereditary disease. Its first signs are shown at the age of 25 - 50 years, less often at children's age. Men get sick more often than women. The main symptoms of the disease are choreic hyperkinesis and gradually increasing dementia . Hyperkinetic syndrome is manifested by involuntary grimacing, increased gesticulation, intentional trembling, staggering when walking. During a conversation, there are grimaces, sighs, smacking of lips, tongue, nose sniffing, impeding speech. Each step is accompanied by additional movements in the form of waving hands, priplyasyvanie, squats, nodding his head, etc. The severity and prevalence of hyperkinesis increases over time. Mental disorder is first expressed in increased excitability, loss of memory, attention, and only later develop dementia .
According to the clinical manifestations of Huntington's chorea, so-called senile chorea is close, in which choreic hyperkinesis develops in old age and is accompanied by progressive dementia.
If a patient’s chorea is suspected, it should be referred to a neuropathologist for consultation. The most effective method of treating choreic hyperkinesis is the administration of drugs that reduce the activity of dopaminergic systems of the brain, haloperidol, phenothiazine derivatives, reserpine, etc.