The Psychiatric Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 01/2001; 157(12):2036-8. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.157.12.2036
Source: PubMed


This study examined the frequency and age at onset of psychiatric disorders among children with rheumatic fever, Sydenham's chorea, or both and a comparison group.
Twenty children with rheumatic fever, 22 with Sydenham's chorea, and 20 comparison children were assessed by means of a semistructured interview and rating scales for tic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive symptoms were more frequent in both the Sydenham's chorea and rheumatic fever groups than in the comparison group. The Sydenham's chorea group had a higher frequency of major depressive disorder, tic disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than both the comparison and rheumatic fever groups. ADHD symptoms were associated with a higher risk of developing Sydenham's chorea.
Both the rheumatic fever and Sydenham's chorea groups were associated with a higher risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders than the comparison group. ADHD appears to be a risk factor for Sydenham's chorea in children with rheumatic fever.

Download full-text


Available from: James F Leckman, Jan 25, 2016
  • Source
    • "There are numerous descriptions of an association between infection, chronic inflammation of the CNS, and schizophrenia (Anderson et al., 2013). For example, symptoms of schizophrenia have been described in the encephalitic form of MS (Felgenhauer, 1990), in viral CNS infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1; Chiveri et al., 2003), HSV-2 (Oommen et al., 1982), and measles (Hiroshi et al., 2003) and also in autoimmune processes such as poststreptococcal disorders (Mercadante et al., 2000; Bechter et al., 2007; Kerbeshian et al., 2007; Teixeira et al., 2007), lupus erythematodes, and scleroderma (van Dam, 1991; Müller et al., 1992, 1993; Nikolich-Zugich, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract High levels of pro-inflammatory substances such as cytokines have been described in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of schizophrenia patients. Animal models of schizophrenia show that under certain conditions an immune disturbance during early life, such as an infection-triggered immune activation, might trigger lifelong increased immune reactivity. A large epidemiological study clearly demonstrated that severe infections and autoimmune disorders are risk factors for schizophrenia. Genetic studies have shown a strong signal for schizophrenia on chromosome 6p22.1, in a region related to the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) system and other immune functions. Another line of evidence demonstrates that chronic (dis)stress is associated with immune activation. The vulnerability-stress-inflammation model of schizophrenia includes the contribution of stress on the basis of increased genetic vulnerability for the pathogenesis
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Source
    • " and possibly coincidental in this population , it is also difficult to establish causality in those patients who test positive . However , there has been a substantial body of literature linking GAS infections with OCD , eating restriction , and movement disorders including chorea and tics ( Husby et al . 1976 ; Swedo et al . 1989 , 1993 , 1998 ; Mercadante et al . 2000 ; Leonard and Swedo 2001 ; Kirvan et al . 2003 ; Hoffman et al . 2004 ; Singer et al . 2004 ; Kirvan et al . 2006 , 2007 ; Murphy et al . 2007 ; Yaddanapudi et al . 2010 ; Brimberg et al . 2012 ; Lotan et al . 2014 ; Toufexis et al . 2014 ; Williams and Swedo 2014 ) . We are not fully able to interpret our mycoplasma data , because IgM "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abrupt, dramatic onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or eating restriction with at least two coinciding symptoms (anxiety, mood dysregulation, irritability/aggression/oppositionality, behavioral regression, cognitive deterioration, sensory or motor abnormalities, or somatic symptoms) defines pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS). Descriptions of clinical data in such youth are limited. We reviewed charts of 53 consecutive patients evaluated in our PANS Clinic; 47 met PANS symptom criteria but not all met the requirement for "acute onset." Patients meeting full criteria for PANS were compared with patients who had a subacute/insidious onset of symptoms. Nineteen of 47 (40%) patients in the study had acute onset of symptoms. In these patients, autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and psychiatric disorders were common in first-degree family members (71% and 78%, respectively). Most acute-onset patients had a relapsing/remitting course (84%), prominent sleep disturbances (84%), urinary issues (58%), sensory amplification (66%), gastrointestinal symptoms (42%), and generalized pain (68%). Inflammatory back pain (21%) and other arthritis conditions (28%) were also common. Suicidal and homicidal thoughts and gestures were common (44% and 17%, respectively) as were violent outbursts (61%). Group A streptococcus (GAS) was the most commonly identified infection at onset (21%) and during flares (74%). Rates of the abovementioned characteristics did not differ between the acute-onset group and the subacute/insidious-onset groups. Low levels of immunoglobulins were more common in the subacute/insidious-onset group (75%) compared with the acute-onset group (22%), but this was not statistically significant (p=0.06). In our PANS clinic, 40% of patients had acute onset of symptoms. However, those with and without acute onset of symptoms had similar symptom presentation, rates of inflammatory conditions, somatic symptoms, and violent thoughts and behaviors. GAS infections were the most commonly identified infection at onset and at symptom flares. Because of the wide variety of medical and psychiatric symptoms, youth with PANS may require a multidisciplinary team for adequate care management.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
  • Source
    • "Choreiform movements that represented an overall worsening of neurological performance were noted to occur about 3 months following a tic exacerbation (Murphy et al. 2004). This type of lag is consistent with the finding that OCD symptoms precede the appearance of any motoric manifestation by days or weeks in patients with RF (Mercadante et al. 2000). The presence of neurological soft signs, such as choreiform movements and pronator sign/drift, are a frequently observed comorbidity among childhood onset OCD, tics, and ADHD; the significance of neurological soft signs in relationship to GAS infections has never been prospectively examined until recently (Murphy et al. 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related conditions including Tourette's disorder (TD) are chronic, relapsing disorders of unknown etiology associated with marked impairment and disability. Associated immune dysfunction has been reported and debated in the literature since the late 80s. The immunologic culprit receiving the most interest has been Group A Streptococcus (GAS), which began to receive attention as a potential cause of neuropsychiatric symptoms, following the investigation of the symptoms reported in Sydenham's chorea (SC) and rheumatic fever, such as motor tics, vocal tics, and both obsessive-compulsive and attention deficit/hyperactivity symptoms. Young children have been described as having a sudden onset of these neuropsychiatric symptoms temporally associated with GAS, but without supporting evidence of rheumatic fever. This presentation of OCD and tics has been termed pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS). Of note, SC, OCD, and TD often begin in early childhood and share common anatomic areas--the basal ganglia of the brain and the related cortical and thalamic sites--adding support to the possibility that these disorders might share a common immunologic and/or genetic vulnerability. Relevant manuscripts were identified through searches of the PsycINFO and MedLine databases using the following keywords: OCD, immune, PANDAS, Sydenham chorea, Tourette's disorder Group A Streptococcus. Articles were also identified through reference lists from research articles and other materials on childhood OCD, PANDAS, and TD between 1966 and December 2010. Considering the overlap of clinical and neuroanatomic findings among these disorders, this review explores evidence regarding the immunobiology as well as the relevant clinical and therapeutic aspects of TD, OCD, and PANDAS.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Show more