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My grandfather always spoke of a disease... | Almanac.com

My grandfather always spoke of a disease...

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My grandfather always spoke of a disease called “St. Vida’s dance.” Do you think he meant cerebral palsy?
No, St. Vitus’ (not Vida’s) dance is the common name for Sydenham’s chorea, a disorder that can follow an infection and occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. It is a neurological disorder that features involuntary muscle movements (like those experienced with cerebral palsy). Sydenham’s chorea can be the result of rheumatic fever. The name “St. Vitus’ dance” derives from the late Middle Ages, when persons with the disorder attended the chapels of St. Vitus. The saint was believed to have curative powers.

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