Paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis: a report of 26 patients

J Neurol. 1999 Feb;246(2):120-6. doi: 10.1007/s004150050318.


Paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis (PKC) is a neurological condition which results in abnormal involuntary movements that are precipitated by sudden movement. Because of its rarity, large case series of PKC have not been published. We studied 26 patients with PKC, which represents the largest series thus reported. We reviewed our cases with respect to attack characteristics, aetiology, family history, and treatment response. Our population consisted of 23 men and 3 women. Seven patients had a family history of paroxysmal dyskinesia. None of our patients had clear evidence of symptomatic PKC. Two-thirds of our patients had attacks lasting between 30-60 s, and over one-half experienced one to ten attacks per day. Attack distribution varied widely, and most experienced pure dystonia rather than choreodystonic movements. Most patients responded very well to anticonvulsant therapy. We also report the PET results from two of our patients and Bereitschaftspotential abnormalities recorded from two others.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Athetosis / diagnosis
  • Athetosis / drug therapy
  • Athetosis / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chorea / diagnosis
  • Chorea / drug therapy
  • Chorea / epidemiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Volition


  • Anticonvulsants