Choreiform movement disorders are characterized by involuntary, rapid, irregular, and unpredictable movements of the limbs, face, neck, and trunk. These movements often initially go unnoticed by the affected individuals and may blend together with seemingly intended, random motions. Choreiform movements can occur both at rest and during voluntary movements. They typically increase in ... [Show full abstract] intensity with stress and physical activity and essentially cease during deep sleep stages. In particularly in advanced stages of Huntington disease (HD), choreiform hyperkinesia occurs alongside with dystonic postures of the limbs or trunk before they typically decrease in intensity.
Summary or definition of the topic
The differential diagnosis of HD can be complex. Here, the authors aim to provide guidance for the diagnostic process. This guidance was prepared for the German Neurological Society (DGN) for German-speaking countries.
Hereditary (inherited) and non-hereditary (non-inherited) forms of chorea can be distinguished. Therefore, the family history is crucial. However, even in conditions with autosomal-dominant transmission such as HD, unremarkable family histories do not necessarily rule out a hereditary form (e.g., in cases of early deceased or unknown parents, uncertainties in familial relationships, as well as in offspring of parents with CAG repeats in the expandable range (27–35 CAG repeats) which may display expansions into the pathogenic range).
The differential diagnosis of chorea can be challenging. This guidance prepared for the German Neurological Society (DGN) reflects the state of the art as of 2023.