Sydenham’s Chorea (St Vitus dance)

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Sydenham’s Chorea (St Vitus dance):
Chorea appears several months after beta-haemolytic streptococcal infection in children – also may have mild psychiatric disorder, severe weakness and restlessness; considered autoimmune; usually ages 5-15; F>M; more common in underdeveloped countries; self limited, usually resolves in 6 months; have irregular rapid, aimless involuntary movements of limbs and face (movements are smoother than those in HD); muscles are weak and hypotonic; associated with irritability, obsessive compulsive behaviours and attention deficit; 20% have cardiac complications (usually an endocarditis due to streptococcal infection); no specific treatment – usually rest and/or pharmacological (benzodiazepine, valproate, corticosteroids).

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