Alternate Names : St. Vitus Dance, Rheumatic Chorea, Chorea Minor
Sydenham chorea is a type of chorea that is caused by the streptococcal bacteria. Chorea is a type of movement that results when nerve cells deteriorate in the brain.The
condition is marked by involuntary movements that gradually become severe and
affect all motor activities.
What is going on in the body?
Sydenham chorea is caused by the streptococcal bacteria, and often follows a bout of rheumatic fever. Nerve cells in the brain deteriorate,
producing sudden, involuntary movements that are jerky and purposeless. These
movements gradually become more severe and affect all movement. There may also
be difficulty with fine motor movement, especially with handwriting.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Rheumatic fever is a bacterial infection caused by the streptococcal organism. This germ also
causes strep throat. Sydenham chorea is a disorder that occurs weeks after the body is infected by these bacteria. Not everyone who develops rheumatic fever will develop Sydenham chorea. It occurs chiefly between the ages of 5 and 15 or during pregnancy.