Dyskinesia is a state in which someone experiences involuntary movements. Chorea is a type of dyskinesia. Other types of dyskinesia include tics, myoclonus, dystonia, and akathisia. There are important differences in how doctors treat these conditions.
This article is about dyskinesia, with a special focus on chorea.
After explaining the relationship between them, it compares and contrasts different kinds of dyskinesia. This article also provides information about dyskinesia symptoms, causes, treatment, and outlook.
There are several types of dyskinesia, other than chorea, which include:
These types of dyskinesia differ in their symptoms, causes, treatment, and outlook.
The movements associated with chorea
- seemingly random
When someone has chorea, these involuntary movements can affect the whole body. They can also affect individual body parts, such as the hands or face.
As with chorea, dyskinesia can affect either the whole body or specific body parts.
All dyskinesias involve involuntary movement. However, there are important differences between these movements.
In chorea, involuntary movements are typically dynamic, unstable, and highly irregular.
The term chorea describes movements that can sometimes
Symptoms of dyskinesia vary from case to case:
Scientistsdefine myoclonus as jerky, shock-like involuntary movements. These movements are rapid and brief and can affect muscles all over the body.
Researchersdefine dystonia as involuntary muscle contractions. This leads to unusual posturing and twisting motions. It can also cause repetitive movements and tremors.
- Akathisia: Akathisia is the inability to remain still.
Researchshows that it begins with an intense sensation of inner restlessness. This causes a compulsion to move, often in a repetitive fashion.
- Tic disorders: Tic disorders, such as Tourette’s syndrome, can cause involuntary movements.
Scientistssuggest these movements are rapid and recurrent but not rhythmical. Most commonly, they affect the neck, head, or face.
There are important similarities and differences in the causes and risk factors of dyskinesia.
Several diseases can cause chorea, including:
- Huntington disease, a hereditary brain disorder
- Wilson disease, a genetic condition affecting copper levels in the body
- rheumatic fever, a rare complication that can develop after a bacterial throat infection
- spinocerebellar ataxia, a degenerative disease that affects movement
- hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid produces too many thyroid hormones
- hypoglycemia, which refers to low blood pressure
- hypomagnesemia, which refers to low levels of magensium in the blood
- brain tumors
Some drugs and medications can also cause chorea. They include:
- levodopa, a medication to treat Parkinson’s disease
- oral contraceptives
The risk factors for chorea are the combined risk factors for its possible causes and are highly varied. Overall, however, chorea
There are various causes and risk factors for dyskinesia:
Researchsuggests myoclonus can arise for many different reasons. For example, the condition is present in some people who have seizure disorders. In contrast, myoclonus when falling asleep is common in the general population.
Scientistsdo not yet know the cause of dystonia, although there appears to be a strong genetic component. Various factors can worsen symptoms of dystonia, including stress, anxiety, fatigue, and disrupted sleep.
- Akathisia: Although scientists remain uncertain about the exact causes of akathisia, this condition only arises from drug use.
Researchsuggests that this may occur when drugs block dopamine receptors. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and cocaine can all lead to akathisia.
- Tic disorders:
Scientistscontinue to investigate the causes of tics. There is good evidence that genetics play a role. Risk factors include being male, infections, autoimmune problems, and perinatal injuries.
Medications can cause every type of dyskinesia. When dyskinesia arises from taking medication, scientists call it tardive dyskinesia.
Doctors have several methods for treating dyskinesia.
Other pharmaceutical treatment options include:
In some cases, chorea can arise after a heart transplant. When this is the case, some steroids can help with chorea.
Some treatment options for chorea are similar to those of certain other dyskinesias. Doctors can treat dyskinesias in the following ways:
- Myoclonus: There is
evidencethat certain medications, such as valproate, clonazepam, and levetiracetam, can help with some types of myoclonus. In other types of myoclonus, Botulinum toxin may be useful.
Researchindicates that dopaminergic agents and Botulinum toxin can also help with dystonia. Other useful medications include trihexyphenidyl, baclofen, and benzodiazepines.
- Akathisia: According to a
recent review, scientists remain unsure about how best to treat akathisia. When the condition arises as an adverse effect of antipsychotic usage, reducing the dose or changing the medication can help. Beta-blockers may also have a positive effect, although this remains unclear.
- Tic disorders: There is
evidencethat behavioral therapies can greatly help many people control their tics. Habit-reversal therapy is one effective example. However, some individuals may require pharmaceutical treatment. This will usually involve an alpha-2-adrenergic agonist, or an antipsychotic.
The outlook for these conditions varies.
According to the
In other cases, chorea may have a more positive outlook. For example, Sydenham chorea, which develops in children as a result of rheumatic fever, typically resolves within
There are several differences in the outlooks for other dyskinesias.
Researchshows that the outlook for myoclonus varies from case to case. For example, in tardive myoclonus, the condition can completely resolve with a change of drug treatment.
- Dystonia: Generally,
scientistsbelieve that people with dystonia have a reduced quality of life. However, unlike chorea, dystonia does not typically reduce a person’s life expectancy.
- Akathisia: When it comes to akathisia, the outlook is highly dependent upon treatment. There is
evidencethat the outlook tends to be positive if the individual stops taking the drug that is causing akathisia. However, without treatment, the outlook for akathisia is negative. It sometimes also leads to suicidal ideation.
- Tic disorders: The outlook for people with tick disorders varies.
Researchsuggests that around one-third of people with tic disorders recover completely. Another third of individuals show some improvements in their symptoms. The final third of people with tic disorders show no such improvements.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Dyskinesias are movement disorders that involve involuntary movements. Chorea is a type of dyskinesia that involves abrupt and unpredictable movements.
There are many similarities and differences between different kinds of dyskinesia.
The treatment and outcomes vary depending on the type of dyskinesia a person has.