St Vitus' Dance is also known as Sydenham's chorea. This is a disorder that occurs in children and is associated with rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is an acute infectious disease caused by certain types of streptococci bacteria. It usually starts with strep throat or tonsillitis. These types of streptococci are able to cause disease throughout the body. The most serious damage caused by rheumatic fever is to the valves in the heart. At one time, rheumatic fever was the most common cause of damaged heart valves, and it still is in most developing countries around the world. Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are still present in America, but the incidence has dropped substantially. Rheumatic fever may appear in several different forms. St. Vitus' dance, is one of five "major criteria" for the diagnosis of rheumatic fever
The only relationship that I could find between Sydenham's chorea and Lupus were in brain involvement with Lupus. In general there are two main causes of brain disease in lupus. The first is lupus disease itself which can cause alterations in the brain activity. The second is the clotting disorder associated with some lupus patients, the antiphospholipid or Hughes syndrome (sticky blood).
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also known as Hughes syndrome. Because one of the main features includes thrombosis (blood clotting), the name 'sticky blood syndrome' has often been used as a shorthand to describe this condition. The brain appears to be particularly sensitive to the clotting. In fact, in many patients, headaches precede clotting for many years. Also, individuals may develop slight speech disturbance, suggestive of a mini-stroke or epilepsy. Other forms of brain abnormality include movement disorders,and fits. Epilepsy in all its forms, from petit mal (absences) through to grand mat (fits), are important features of Hughes syndrome also.
Lupus: Movement Disorders & Fits:
Sometimes brain involvement in Lupus manifests as movement disorders and/or fits. Often, lupus first starts in the most dramatic way with a seizure or a series of epileptic fits. This is usually when the patient is untreated and the disease fairly active. It is sometimes associated with high fever. Fits or seizures are one of the non-specific ways the brain reacts to severe illness. Once the lupus is treated further, fits are the exception rather than the rule. The same applies to movement disorders. Occasionally patients develop chorea (St Vitus Dance) with jerky hand movements or head movements. This is simply a manifestation of abnormal brain function and, once again, is often associated with the 'sticky blood' (Hughes) syndrome.
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