How is Sydenham chorea differentiated from tardive dyskinesia (TD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Unlike TD, Sydenham chorea is a disorder associated with a history of group A streptococcal infection and rheumatic fever in children. It typically affects children and adolescents 6 months or more after an infection with group A streptococci. Prompt administration of antibiotic therapy for infections with group A streptococci dramatically reduces the incidence of Sydenham chorea. The female-to-male ratio is approximately 2:1.

Sydenham chorea is characterized by the rapid onset of chorea, muscular weakness, hypotonia, dysarthria, obsessions, compulsions, and other behavioral and emotional disturbances. After an abrupt or insidious onset, Sydenham chorea worsens over 2-4 weeks and then resolves over 3-6 months. Chorea may persist after the episode has ended. One fifth of patients with Sydenham chorea experience a recurrence, typically within 2 years of the initial episode.

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