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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

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Paroxysmal Choreoathetosis

Paroxysmal choreoathetosis is a movement disorder characterized by episodes or attacks of involuntary movements of the limbs, trunk, and facial muscles. The disorder may occur in several members of a family, or in only a single family member. Prior to an attack some individuals experience tightening of muscles or other physical symptoms. Involuntary movements precipitate some attacks, and other attacks occur when the individual has consumed alcohol or caffeine, or is tired or stressed. Attacks can last from 10 seconds to over an hour. Some individuals have lingering muscle tightness after an attack. Paroxysmal choreoathetosis frequently begins in early adolescence. A gene associated with the disorder has been discovered. The same gene is also associated with epilepsy.

Treatment

Drug therapy, particularly carbamazepine, has been very successful in reducing or eliminating attacks of paroxysmal choreoathetosis. While carbamazepine is not effective in every case, other drugs have been substituted with good effect.

Prognosis

Generally, paroxysmal choreoathetosis lessens with age, and many adults have a complete remission. Because drug therapy is so effective, the prognosis for the disorder is good.

Research

NINDS supports and conducts research on movement disorders such as paroxysmal choreoathetosis. Much of this research is aimed at finding ways to prevent and treat these disorders.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Organizations

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

Non-profit medical research foundation that funds research, advances awareness, and provides education and support on dystonia, a movement disorder.

1 East Wacker Drive
Suite 2810
Chicago, IL 60601-1905
Tel: 312-755-0198
Fax: 312-803-0138

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