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Rheumatic Brain Disease
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Rheumatic Brain Disease

I have a question about Rheumatic Brain Disease . What  I  know so far  is  that  it is caused by Rheumatic fever .
I am 52 years old female , and  I have  Rheumatic fever as  a child .
To make the story short . I have been battling depression since 20 years , and also some  unexplained  neurological symptoms . Lately , I have  been dx  with  MS , than my  MS dx was taken off  , now  I  am  probable for MS by  second  opinion .
I  do  have changes  in my brain  ( based upon MRI ) ,and  also  some degenerative changes in the spine .
Are there any  distinct  characteristics of  lesions caused by Rheumatic Brain Disease ?
What is typical manifestation of Rheumatic Brain Disease ?
Please help me out
Thank you
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop two to three weeks after a Group A streptococcal infection (such as strep throat or scarlet fever). It is believed to be caused by antibody cross-reactivity and can involve the heart, joints, skin, and brain.

When the brain is damaged due to rheumatic fever, the person suffers from loss of coordination and he cannot control the movements of his limbs and face; these movements are known as chorea. The uncontrolled movements of limbs and face are known as Sydenham's chorea, rheumatic chorea or St. Vitus' dance. Usually the chorea disappears within weeks or months.

The problem with rheumatic fever is that once you have it, the chances of you getting it again are very high and each time you get the fever, it will further damage the brain. The only treatment available at the moment for rheumatic fever is taking low dosage of antibiotics and invariably you will have to take the drugs for the rest of your life.

6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you dr Vinod  for your prompt response . Is  it  possible to have  brain lesions , some  even as big  as 1 cm , caused  by high fever due to  rheumatic fever ?
I  just don't know where  to start  . What  kind of tests should  I have in order to figure out  the causality of  the lesions . I have seen  Rheumatologist in my town , and I had  huge amount of different  tests  to establish the  cause , and  so  far  nothing positive .
What would be your medical advice for me ?
Thank you very much
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The brain lesion cannot be connected to Rheumatic fever directly as this is uncommon and very rare.
There are no typical lesions in brain with Rheumatic fever complications.
Your case has to be dealt specially by a neurologist who has expirience if any in Rheumatic lesions of brain so he can assess your case by linking your strange symptoms. Take care and go for a proper diagnosis, even if it takes time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much Dr Vinod
You have  been  very helpful  . Your time on this forum is greatly appreciated .
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband is 41 and had a bad case of rheumatic fever as a child.  I read an article regarding the affects on the brain that this has.  I am concerned because he has terrible boust of depression, alcholism (alcoholism), drug addiction and suicidal tendencies also degenerative spine problems.  he will go for years okay then it seems like every 5 years he looses his mind (so to speak).  What would u recommend as far as further testing to see if he has any brain damaged due to this?  Where do I start?  Please help?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Yes, it can cause brain damage and that to permanent damage. When the brain is damaged due to rheumatic fever, the person suffers from loss of coordination and he cannot control the movements of his limbs and face; these movements are known as chorea. The uncontrolled movements of limbs and face are known as Sydenham's chorea, rheumatic chorea or St. Vitus' dance. Usually the chorea disappears within weeks or months.

The problem with rheumatic fever is that once you have it, the chances of you getting it again are very high and each time you get the fever, it will further damage the brain. The only treatment available at the moment for rheumatic fever is taking low dosage of antibiotics and invariably you will have to take the drugs for the rest of your life.

The thing what you are mentioning here is every 5 years the disease flares up, that is the reason we were suggesting to you for a continous treatment on antibiotics, Non Steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and proper follow up for controlling the Chorea.

The lesions can be found in MRI but they are not typical to be diagnosed. So limiting it clinically is important to avoid further brain damage.

Alcoholism and drugs will add on to the brain damage. Avoid alcohol and drugs are a big no!
Help him fight depression.  Balanced diet, proper sleep, reduction of stress and timely medications are  preventive measures for him to lead a healthy life.

Take care and come back to us for further queries.
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Avatar_n_tn
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