Sydenham’s Chorea: Everything Related to This Disease

Sydenham’s chorea also called chorea minor is a disorder which is identified by rapid, uncoordinated movements basically affecting the face, feet, and hands. The disorder is traditionally referred to as St Vitus’ dance.


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What is Sydenham’s Chorea?


The chorea is mainly due to childhood infection with Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus which is reported to occur in patients with acute rheumatic fever. This disorder possibly occurs up to 6 months after the acute infection, but can irregularly show the symptoms of rheumatic fever.


The disorder is more common in females as well as most of the patients are children, below the age of 18 years. While it is said that the adult cases are associated with increasing of their chorea by following childhood Sydenham’s chorea.




What are the Symptoms of Sydenham’s Chorea?


Sydenham chorea mainly involves uncontrollable movements of the body parts such as hands, shoulder, arms, face, legs, and trunk. These movements usually disappear during sleep.

Its other symptoms may include:

  • Handwriting changes.
  • Loss of motor control (especially of the hands and fingers).
  • Loss of emotional control, with sessions of inappropriate laughing or crying.




What Are the Causes of Sydenham’s Chorea?


The disorder caused by an infection due to the bacteria called group A streptococcus. This is the bacteria that cause strep throat and rheumatic fever. This streptococcus bacteria firstly react with the basal ganglia part of the brain to cause this disorder. The basal ganglia help in controlling movement, speech, and posture.


Sydenham chorea is a significant sign of acute rheumatic fever.


This disorder occurs usually in girls before puberty but can also be seen in boys.


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How Do You Treat Sydenham’s Chorea?


For treating this disorder, antibiotics are suggested by doctors to kill the streptococcus bacteria. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics for the prevention of future rheumatic fever infections. These antibiotics are known as preventive antibiotics or antibiotic prophylaxis.


Severe symptoms related to movement or emotional may need to be treated with medicines.




Is Sydenham’s Chorea Permanent?


The disorder is not permanent, it can be resolved within three weeks to six months. But it is a complication of rheumatic fever so some individuals will face symptoms related to joint arthritis or arthralgia, inflammation, and ongoing fever.




Is Sydenham’s Chorea Curable?


Yes, the Sydenham’s chorea is treatable and curable. The process of diagnosis for people with chorea varies depending on the chorea type and its associated disease. Huntington’s disease is a progressive and ultimately, fatal disease.





Sydenham’s chorea is a common disease which is generally found in children. The disease can be treated easily depending upon its symptoms.


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