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Neuropsychiatric movement disorders following streptococcal infection.

The aim of this study was to describe post-streptococcal movement disorders that form part of the acute rheumatic fever complex. The clinical records of patients diagnosed with Sydenham's chorea were analyzed retrospectively to investigate epidemiology, the significance of socioeconomic deprivation, clinical manifestations, treatments, outcomes, long-term morbidity, and disease evolution. Forty-two patients (21 males, 21 females) were diagnosed with Sydenham's chorea. The median presentation age was 9 years 8 months (range 3y 5mo to 13y 2mo). Nineteen patients were of indigenous African ancestry; 23 were of mixed ancestry. All patients lived in poverty and had poor access to medical care. Twelve of the total group had disabling symptoms for longer than 2 years; six of these patients developed paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with Streptococcus (Paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with Streptococcus [PANDAS]), five Tourette syndrome (TS), and one learning difficulties. Poor outcome was significantly more prevalent in patients of mixed ancestry, in those with a positive family history, previous behavioural problems, or a failure to complete 10 days of penicillin and 'bed-rest'/hospitalization. Sydenham's chorea is one manifestation of post-streptococcal neuropsychiatric movement disorders. This study demonstrates that patients can present with one diagnosis and evolve other neuropsychiatric conditions such as TS and PANDAS. In the South African context, it is important to delineate neuropsychiatric movement disorders associated with streptococcal infections. The potential genetic susceptibility should be explored.

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