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Chorea in Adults Follow-up

  • Author: Stephanie M Vertrees, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 24, 2014


See the list below:

  • The severity of the abnormal involuntary movements may cause rhabdomyolysis or local trauma in some patients.
  • The swallowing difficulties and tongue dystonia usually present in neuroacanthocytosis patients may cause aspiration pneumonia and early death in some patients.


Prognosis depends on the cause of the chorea. Huntington disease (HD) has a poor prognosis, because all patients will die of complications of the disease. Similarly, patients with neuroacanthocytosis may develop aspiration pneumonia, which can cause early death.


Patient Education

Genetic counseling

See the list below:

  • Both Huntington disease and benign hereditary chorea are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. Therefore, if there is a couple planning to conceive and one of the pair has Huntington disease, they should be educated that there is a 1-in-2 chance that each child they have could be affected.
  • Wilson disease and neuroacanthocytosis both have an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. Therefore, if both parents are carriers, there is a 1-in-4 chance that each child could be affected, and a 1-in-2 chance that each child could be a carrier.
  • Genetic testing is available for each of these conditions. Testing should be offered to potentially affected patients and their family members, and they should be informed about the potential risk of inheriting the disease, clinical manifestations of the disease, treatment options, and prognosis. However, patients refuse to have testing for a number of reasons, and this should be respected.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Stephanie M Vertrees, MD Fellow in Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College-Hospital for Special Surgery Fellowship in Medical Ethics; Fellow in Neuromuscular Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery

Stephanie M Vertrees, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Womens Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Neurology, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Neurology, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Selim R Benbadis, MD Professor, Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Selim R Benbadis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Epilepsy Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Glaxo Smith Kline; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB<br/>Received research grant from: Cyberonics; Lundbeck; Sepracor; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith.

Additional Contributors

Stephen T Gancher, MD Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University

Stephen T Gancher, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors Eric Dinnerstein, MD, Maria Alejandra Herrera, MD, and Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD, MSc, MHA, to the development and writing of this article.

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