"Despite being involuntary movements, the subject tends to incorporate them into his repertoire of habitual movements in an attempt to conceal them".


The term chorea has its origins in the Greek word choreia which means dance.

It is defined as an abrupt, irregular, involuntary movement of short duration and low amplitude that changes from one body area to another without a defined sequence. It is usually located in the distal parts of the limbs, especially in the hands, or in the face.

Although there are many causes of chorea, the most important are Huntington's disease (the most common cause of hereditary chorea), rheumatic fever or Sydenham chorea, chorea induced by prolonged treatment with drugs (neuroleptics) and metabolic disorders.

What are the symptoms of chorea?

Initially, they consist of certain nervous activity translated by movements or tics or excessive agitation. These initial symptoms progressively turn into more pronounced involuntary movements, with spasms and tugging of the head, neck and extremities, with great difficulty in walking, speaking or swallowing. 

The person or his family notices changes in mood: irritable, apathetic, passive, depressed or angry. May, in some cases, have impaired judgment, memory and other cognitive functions.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Involuntary movements of extremities.
  • Spasms.
  • Mood swings.
  • Alteration of cognitive functions.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may suffer from chorea

How is chorea diagnosed?

<p>Resonancia magn&eacute;tica</p>

Movement disorders, which include chorea, include a group of diseases characterized by either excessive movement, or poor or slow movement.

The suspicion begins with the appearance of uncontrollable and inexplicable tics.

The differential diagnosis must be based on the anamnesis, the clinical course, the complementary tests and the accompanying semiological data.

Diseases that occur with chorea can be classified into two groups: acquired or hereditary.

  • Acquired korea: the most frequent causes are drugs, stroke, pregnancy and Sydenham chorea. 
  • Hereditary Koreas: Huntington's disease (HD) is the most common form of hereditary chorea.

How is chorea treated?

Treatment depends on the type of chorea and the associated disease. 

The drugs commonly used for the treatment of chorea are benzodiazepines, neuroleptics and catecholamine deplectors (tetrabenazine and reserpine).

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Neurology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Neurology Department has extensive experience in the diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment of neurological diseases.

We offer a diagnosis in less than 72 hours, along with a proposal for personalized treatment and post-consultation follow-up of the patient by our specialized nursing team.

We have the most advanced technology for an accurate diagnosis with cutting-edge equipment such as HIFU, deep brain stimulation devices, video EEG, PET and epilepsy surgery, among others.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • State-of-the-art diagnostic assistance with great work in research and teaching.
  • Specialized nursing team.
  • We work together with the Sleep Unit.

Our team of professionals