What Conditions Chorea May Indicate

Sydenham's Chorea

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Sydenham's chorea is a movement disorder characterized by uncontrollable, jerky movements in the facial muscles, leg muscles, arm muscles, and muscles of the trunk. Sydenham's chorea is most prevalent among children between five and fifteen years old. It is also more likely to develop in females than in males. Sydenham's chorea is caused by the same bacteria that causes rheumatic fever, referred to as group A streptococcus. Sydenham's chorea can manifest at any time up to six months following the initial group A streptococcus infection. While the exact mechanism that causes Sydenham's chorea is unknown, it is thought to be associated with an autoimmune reaction to the streptococcal infection. The chorea that occurs in individuals who have Sydenham's chorea start to appear over hours and peak within several days. The most common manifestations are involuntary facial expressions, and the inability to perform normal daily tasks like talking, walking, holding objects, dressing, and eating. Movement tics and restless spasms are also common chorea manifestations in Sydenham's chorea.

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