What Is The Difference Between Chorea And Dystonia?

What Is The Difference Between Chorea And Dystonia?

Chorea and dystonia are both classified under movement disorders. To understand what the difference between chorea and dystonia is, let us have a look at each of these types in details.

Let us have a brief description of both these conditions.

Chorea

  • Chorea is a type of movement disorder that typically displays involuntary movements that are kind of rapid, brief, irregular and repetitive
  • These muscles characteristically involve the parts of the body like mouth, face, limbs and trunk

Dystonia

This is a type of movement disorder that typically displays involuntary muscle movements with a twisting, which is repetitive in nature and sustained

Let us now understand each type in details-

Chorea-

  • Chorea refers to a randomly appearing sequence of involuntary movements which is ongoing in nature
  • The randomness in the movements is because of the variations in timings, direction, duration and/or anatomic placement
  • Each of the movements may exhibit a different start and stop point
  • However, the start and the stop point may be very difficult to identify, as the movements are quite rapid; they seem like one movement is overlapping or quickly following the other
  • Thus, the movements seem to pass on randomly from one group of muscles to the another
  • These movements can affect the trunk, limbs, tongue, face and neck
  • The movements in chorea are comparatively unpredictable, seemingly random and continuously ongoing in nature
  • The movements in chorea are quicker or more rapid as compared to the movements in dystonia
  • Chorea usually does not cease with attempts at relaxation
  • Hence, those suffering from chorea seem to be continuously in motion or fidgety
  • Chorea may sometimes result in a condition called parakinesia, wherein the affected child may turn the involuntary movement into a more purposeful or deliberate movement, so that they can hide the disorder
  • Chorea is characterized by implanted movements, whereas dystonia is characterized by implanted postures
  • The basic difference lies in that chorea exhibits recognizable movements that are repetitive in nature, but there may or may not be repeated postures

Dystonia-

  • Dystonia is a type of movement disorder which encompasses involuntary muscle contractions that may be sustained or intermittent in nature
  • These contractions cause twisting movements that are repetitive in nature, abnormal or irregular postures, or maybe both
  • The existence of abnormal postures that substitute the voluntary movements or superimpose upon them is a typical feature of dystonia
  • The postures in dystonia are repeated
  • Specific postures or patterns are typical for every child at a given point in time
  • Postures or patterns may be sustained or there may be a brief interval between two episodes
  • The postures in dystonia usually get triggered when one attempts voluntary movements
  • In some cases, the postures get triggered only in specific body positions. task-specific dystonia is an example of this
  • Except for some seizure conditions, the postures of dystonia are not seen in sleep. This may be due to inhibition of movements due to the action of spinal cord
  • Postures and patterns can be sustained for different lengths of time
  • There may be a lack of relaxation
  • Multiple dystonic patterns or postures may be seen in the same child
  • The movements in dystonia are more stereotyped and predictable as compared to movements in chorea
  • The movements in dystonia are less quick or rapid than those seen in chorea
  • As voluntary movements may trigger dystonic movements, same is not the case in chorea.
  • Dystonia is marked by specific implanted postures and not by implanted movements

Chorea and dystonia are both classified under movement disorders. The signs and symptoms of both the conditions vary and there are certain distinct, distinguishing characters of both conditions that set them apart from each other and from other conditions as well. However, these conditions may resemble each other in some respects. Hence, a proper diagnosis and an efficient treatment are essential to obtain a significant and long-term relief.

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