Comprehensive treatment of Huntington disease and other choreic disorders

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Abstract

The management of choreic disorders presents significant challenges, including identifying the etiology of the disorder, treating and preventing motor symptoms, and managing a range of other neurologic and behavioral complications. Chorea may occur in several neurodegenerative, genetic, or drug-related conditions, and a thorough diagnostic evaluation is needed to identify the specific underlying causes. Some choreic disorders have specific treatable underlying etiologies, such as vitamin B12 deficiency or drug-induced dyskinesia. Autoimmune disorders such as Sydenham chorea may be treated with penicillin, corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, or plasma exchange. Heredodegenerative choreas such as Huntington disease often respond to treatment with tetrabenazine or amantadine. Many other agents may be used nonspecifically for symptom control, including benzodiazepines, neuroleptics, and antiepileptic medications. In addition to motor symptoms, patients with Huntington disease or other choreic disorders often experience increasing depression, bradykinesia, cognitive impairment, aggressive behaviors, and other complications as the disease progresses. Caring for the caregiver is also a significant concern in the long-term treatment of choreic disorders.

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Source:  The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

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