Author(s): Nausieda PA, Bieliauskas LA, Bacon LD, Hagerty M, Koller WC,
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Abstract We studied psychometric performance on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) mini-mult and drug-induced choreic reactions in a group of patients with a history of Syndenham's chorea. Action tremor, motor signs, and residual chorea were common. One-half of the patients reported adverse choreic reactions to one or more agents. Patients with adverse reactions to central stimulants and anorectics had statistically significant elevations in the psychotic tetrad of the MMPI. Sydenham's chorea in childhood seems to confer persistent sensitivity to agents that augment central dopaminergic activity, which may be expressed as acute chorea. Central dopaminergic sensitivity may explain earlier reports of psychologic difficulties in survivors of rheumatic chorea. PIP: 32 patients with Sydenham's chorea were studied at the La Rabida Institute for psychometric performance on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Questionnaires used included a definition of chorea and a description of choreic movements which the patients and members of their households were asked to read. Results were: 1) the only medical condition frequently reported was arthritis; 20/32 patients reported medical consultation for this complaint; 2) 19 patients including 2 with chorea gravidium, reported motor or psychiatric side effects from 1 or more agents; 3) in patients with multiple drug exposures a history of adverse motor reactions to decongestants was always associated with adverse reactions to anorectics or amphetamine in patients with exposure to all agents, and a similar pattern was noted with thyroid hormone and oral contraceptives (OCs); 4) 1 patient with chorea gravidium reported dyskinesias after administration of decongestants or amphetamine but tolerated OCs; and 5) MMPI scores from patients reporting adverse responses to amphetamines were statistically elevated in the psychotic tetrad. This study provides support for the belief that Sydenham's chorea is not a benign self-limited disease of childhood. In addition to mild residual neurologic abnormalities, the disorder appears to confer long-standing sensitivity to a variety of dopaminergically active agents.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics