Fast Five Quiz: Huntington Disease Signs and Symptoms

Shaheen E. Lakhan, MD, PhD, MS, MEd


May 27, 2020

Chorea is the most common movement disorder seen in Huntington disease. In fact, until recently, the disorder was commonly called Huntington chorea. Initial presentation of chorea may be mistaken for fidgetiness.

Severe chorea, which can occur as the disease progresses but is not the most common initial presentation, may appear as uncontrollable flailing of the extremities (ie, ballism). Ballism is characterized by large-amplitude, usually proximal, flinging movements of a limb or body part. These movements severely interfere with function.

As the disease progresses, chorea is gradually replaced by more disabling symptoms, including dystonia and parkinsonian features (such as bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability).

In advanced disease, patients develop an akinetic-rigid syndrome, with minimal or no chorea. Other late features include spasticity, clonus, and extensor plantar responses.

Learn more about the movement disorders associated with Huntington disease.


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