What are the symptoms of Sydenham’s Chorea?

Sydenham’s Chorea can present in a number of ways. Often the child’s behaviour changes before the onset of the abnormal movements.

The movement disorder comes on over a period of hours to days with uncoordinated jerking movements in the arms, hands, legs, feet and face. These movements are called chorea. Sometimes the chorea only involves one side of the body.

Further neurological symptoms of Sydenham’s Chorea can be changes in mood and behaviour, fatigue, loss of fine and gross motor skills, loss of muscle tone, motor and speech difficulties, gait disturbance, facial grimacing, headache, slowed cognition and restlessness.

Some children with Sydenham’s Chorea go on to develop a different kind of movement problem with motor and/or vocal tics and habits. Other physical symptoms may include inflammation of the heart and joint pain.

See examples of chorea at our Youtube playlist.

How is it diagnosed?


The Sydenham’s Chorea Association SCIO, Charity Number SCO047005
Registered Address: 302 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RZ
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