Adult-onset sporadic chorea: real-world data from a single-centre retrospective study

Roberta Bovenzi, Matteo Conti, Rocco Cerroni, Mariangela Pierantozzi, Alessandro Stefani, Antonio Pisani, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Tommaso Schirinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adult-onset sporadic chorea includes a wide and heterogeneous group of conditions whose differential diagnosis and treatments are often challenging and extensive. Objectives: To analyse retrospectively cases of adult-onset sporadic chorea from a single Italian centre to provide insights for a practical approach in the management of these patients. Methods: A total of 11,071 medical charts from a 9-year period (2012–2020) were reviewed, identifying 28 patients with adult-onset sporadic chorea (genetic forms excluded). All available data regarding phenomenology, diagnostic workup, aetiology, treatments, and long-term outcome from this cohort were collected and analysed. Results: Adult-onset sporadic chorea occurred more frequently in females and presented with an acute-subacute onset. Cerebrovascular diseases accounted for 68% of aetiology; further causes were structural brain lesions, internal diseases, and other movement disorder syndromes. Clinical course was mild, with spontaneous resolution or minimal disturbances in 82% of cases. Neuroimaging was fundamental to diagnose 76% of adult-onset sporadic chorea, an appropriate clinical examination contributed to the 14% of diagnoses, whereas basic laboratory tests to the 10%. Conclusions: Revision of real-world data of adult-onset sporadic chorea patients from a single Italian cohort suggests that an accurate clinical examination, neuroimaging, and routine laboratory tests are useful to identify those cases underlying potentially severe but treatable conditions. Although in the majority of cases adult-onset sporadic chorea has mild clinical course and good response to symptomatic treatments, it is essential to run a fast diagnostic workup.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Athetosis
  • Ballism
  • Secondary movement disorders
  • Sporadic chorea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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