• Roongroj Bhidayasiri
  • Daniel Tarsy
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Hemiballismus is a large amplitude, proximal, choreiform movement disorder which affects the shoulder and upper arm and sometimes the hip and leg on one side of the body. In some cases, the involuntary movements are smaller in amplitude and less violent but still primarily proximal in location. In cases where milder and more distal choreiform movements predominate, this is referred to as hemichorea. The most common causes are ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions of the contralateral subthalamic nucleus or its connections with the globus pallidus, often among patients with hypertension or diabetes. Small striatal infarcts may also cause hemichorea or hemiballismus.


Deep Brain Stimulation Brain Abscess Involuntary Movement Sodium Valproate Left Shoulder 
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Supplementary material

Hemichorea-hemiballismus.mp4 (MP4 5,168KB)

The patient shows intermittent proximal and distal ballistic, dystonic, and choreiform movements involving left shoulder and wrist.


  1. 1.
    Dewey RB, Jankovic J. Hemiballismus-hemichorea clinical and pharmacologic findings in 21 patients. Arch Neurol. 1989;46:862–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Ohara S, Nakagawa S, Tabata K, Hashimoto T. Hemiballism with hyperglycemia and striatal T1-MRI hyperintensity: an autopsy report. Mov Disord. 2001;16:521–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roongroj Bhidayasiri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel Tarsy
    • 3
  1. 1.Chulalongkorn Center of Excellence on Parkinson’s Disease and Related DisordersChulalongkorn University HospitalBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyHarvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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