[Skip to Navigation]
History of Neurology: Seminal Citations
February 2001

Sydenham Chorea

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville. Dr Okun is now with the Department of Neurology, Emory Univerisity School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.



Arch Neurol. 2001;58(2):311-313. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.2.311

Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689), a physician known the world over as the British Hippocrates and the father of chorea, was a meticulous observer and a discerning physician. In chapter XVI, "On Saint Vitus' Dance," of his last book, Schedula Monitoria de Novae Febris Ingressa, published in 1686, he greatly restricted the broad use of the term chorea sancti viti to one specific movement disorder.1 In that chapter, Sydenham wrote the following classic description of St Vitus' dance:

Add or change institution