Sydenham's chorea is associated with decreased verbal fluency

Mauro César Quintão Silva Cunningham, Débora Palma Maia, Antonio Lúcio Teixeira, Francisco Cardoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Sydenham's chorea (SC) is a disorder associated with rheumatic fever and related to Streptococcus-induced immune reaction cross-reactive with basal ganglia antigens. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and other behavioral abnormalities have been described in SC. There are scarce data of cognitive function in this condition. Objective: To assess verbal fluency in patients with SC. Patients and methods: We have compared the semantic (SVF) and phonemic verbal fluency (PVF) of 20 subjects with SC and 40 controls matched by age, gender and years of school. Results: The scores of the control group on the SVF and PVF tests were 26.3±5.7 and 18.0±6.4 whereas the SC patients scored 25.1±6.9 and 12.5±8.2. PVF was significantly decreased in the SC group (p<0.01). Conclusion: SC is associated with reduction of PVF. This finding may reflect disruption of the dorsolateral prefrontal-striatal circuit caused by the auto-immune process characteristic of SC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-167
Number of pages3
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibasal gangila antibodies
  • Chorea
  • Fronto-striatal circuits
  • Sydenham's chorea
  • Verbal fluency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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