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Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Mar;10(1):11-9.

Sydenham's chorea: not gone and not forgotten.

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Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Sydenham's chorea is an ancient disease that continues to afflict large numbers of children throughout the world. A major manifestation of rheumatic fever, Sydenham's chorea is commonly manifested by movement disorder and psychiatric problems, and also may be a marker for a life-threatening carditis. Because Sydenham's chorea is triggered by streptococcal pharyngitis, the most important component of its therapy is antibiotic prophylaxis against further streptococcal infections. Because the pathogenesis of Sydenham's chorea includes the production of anti-basal ganglia antibodies, therapies that modulate immune function or that restore neurotransmitter balance within the basal ganglia may be effective for Sydenham's chorea. Recent reports have suggested that Sydenham's chorea may be part of a spectrum of neuropsychiatric syndromes induced by streptococcal infection.

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