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Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2010 Sep;3(5):301-9. doi: 10.1177/1756285610382063.

An update on the treatment of Sydenham's chorea: the evidence for established and evolving interventions.

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  • 1K. G. Walker, S25/26 Neurology OPD, Red Cross Children's Hospital, Klipfontein Road, Rondebosch, 7700 Western Cape, South Africa.


Over 320 years after Thomas Sydenham described the condition labelled Sydenham's chorea, it remains poorly understood. The disorder is an antineuronal antibody-mediated neuropsychiatric disorder caused by a poststreptococcal, autoimmune condition affecting control of movement, mood, behaviour and potentially the heart. The treatment remains empirical, and is less than optimal. There are few large clinically controlled trials. Recommendations for optimal management remain inconsistent and are hampered by the side effects from pharmacotherapy. Care for patients should be targeted at primary treatment (penicillin and bed rest), secondary palliation (symptomatic medication) and supportive (social) care. Small studies have demonstrated trends to support the use of immunoglobulins and steroids as therapeutic interventions for children affected by Sydenham's chorea.


Sydenham’s chorea; carbamazepine; epidemiology; haloperidol; immunomodulatory; pimozide; treatment; valproate

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