Treatment of chorea depends on the type of chorea you have. It aims to treat the underlying condition, which will help with chorea symptoms.
For example, Sydenham’s chorea may be treatable with antibiotics. Huntington’s disease chorea can be treated with antipsychotic drugs, as well as other medications.
Chorea due to Parkinson’s disease has no cure, but symptoms can be managed.
Most medications for chorea affect dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, that controls movement, thinking, and pleasure in your brain, among other things.
Many movement disorders are associated with dopamine levels. These disorders include Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.
Some medications block dopamine receptors so your body can’t use the chemical. Many of these are antipsychotic drugs that seem to reduce chorea. These drugs, which doctors can prescribe for off-label use, include:
- fluphenazine (Prolixin)
- haloperidol (Haldol)
- olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- quetiapine (Seroquel)
- risperidone (Risperdal)
Other drugs reduce the amount of dopamine in the brain, such as reserpine and tetrabenazine (Xenazine). Medications known as benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam (Klonopin), may also help to reduce chorea.
Anticonvulsants, which reduce spontaneous movements, can also reduce chorea symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical approach that shows promise for chorea treatment. This treatment involves implanting electrodes in your brain to regulate nerve impulses.
If chorea doesn’t respond to medications, your doctor may recommend deep brain stimulation. This procedure does not cure chorea, but it can reduce its symptoms.
Chorea increases a person’s likelihood for falls. Home care measures include installing nonslip surfaces on stairs and in bathrooms to prevent injury. Talk to your doctor about other ways to modify your home for safety.