Nonketotic Hyperglycemia Appearing as Choreoathetosis or Ballism

William G. Rector, H. Franklin Herlong, Hamilton Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


A number of focal neurologic abnormalities may accompany severe, nonketotic hyperglycemia, but extrapyramidal movement disorders have not previously been described. We evaluated the conditions of three patients with marked hyperglycemia in whom hemichorea or ballism developed that resolved completely with normalization of the blood glucose level. Potential pathogenetic mechanisms include relative dopaminergic hypersensitivity, impaired synthesis of acetylcholine or γ-aminobutyric acid, or an undefined effect of hyperosmolarity, perhaps unmasking a previously subclinical lesion of the basal ganglia. Serum glucose level should be determined in anyone with the new onset of choreoathetosis or ballism, as hyperglycemia is a rapidly reversible cause of these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-155
Number of pages2
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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