In some of its aspects true chorea, the chorea of Sydenham, presents the features of an acute infectious disease. Among the phenomena suggestive of such an etiologic relationship are the mode of invasion, the seasonal prevalence, the self-limitation, the endocardial and articular complications, theliability to recurrence, and the postmortem findings in some cases. Further, optic neuritis has occasionally been observed.
The actual causation of chorea yet awaits final solution, but the belief is growing that the disease is dependent on irritative disturbance of the motor cells of the cerebral cortex, of either infectious or toxic origin. In the etiology, heredity, sometimes direct, at other times indirect, is a not unimportant factor. It is not uncommon to obtain a history of the disease in the parents or in other members of the family. Chorea occurs almost invariably in neurotic stock, so that, as with infectious diseases, the predisposition or the susceptibility,
ESHNER AA. THE DIFFERENTIATION OF CHOREA AND THE DISORDERS SIMULATING IT. JAMA. 1900;XXXV(3):145–147. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620290015002d
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