MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Why was Huntingtons Disease once called Huntingtons Chorea?

Date: Tue Mar 14 22:49:19 2000
Posted By: Will Rosner, Staff, Clinical Biochemistry / Biotechnology, INTELLIgene Expressions
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 951911801.Me

Chorea is the involuntary, incoordinated, rapid, jerky type of movement of 
brief duration. Such movement, although variable, is continual. The best 
known chorea is the Hungtington's chorea, an autosomal dominant inherited 

A short description of the symptoms associated with huntingtons disease is 
available at


Chorea--quick, jerking, uncontrollable movements of the limbs, trunk and 
face are the most obvious symptoms. The patient's gait is often mistaken 
for that of a person who is drunk.

Poor short-term memory and judgment--Although most patients continue to 
recognize their caregivers and can give feedback about their condition and 
care, the Huntington's disease patient suffers declining mental skills as 
the disease progresses.

Depression, irritability and apathy can be noted before and after the 
onset of chorea in a percentage of the Huntington's disease population. 
Some patients may exhibit schizophrenic-like behavior.

Chorea is often the first and most easily observed symptom of the disease, 
making the name Huntington's Chorea quite descriptive.

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