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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Sydenham's Chorea and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

06/05/2006

Question:

Hi. I was wondering if anyone ever heard of this. My son is ten years old and has told me he has a strange feeling that when things change he feels like he should be scared whether it`s the T.V. channel changing to other circumstances. I had a very hard time understanding his fear and what he meant. I am very concerned. He did have a bout of Sydenham`s Chorea about 4 years ago and had episodes of jerking movements and also suffers from migraines. He gets about 3 a week. He will actually throw up. Is this all related?

Answer:

You mentioned Sydenham's Chorea which can have a mental component that appears to be much like obsessive-compulsive disorder.  It is thought that such individuals my have a continuing risk for sensitivity to bacterial strep infections which may go unnoticed but for either the behavioral or neurologic outcomes. The name of this syndrome is PANDAS.  Probably the migraines are unrelated.  I would consult a neurologist specifically about your concerns. 

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati