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12th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Into Illness. St. Vitus Dance.

Emilio suffered a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that causes abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea. It affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and behavioral symptoms. Physical abilities are gradually impeded until coordinated movements becomes very difficult. There is no cure for this disease. In Spain this disease was formerly known as ‘St.Vitus Dance’ as their quick and constant movements of the feet or hands are compared to dancing. Emilio died a few months after taking this picture.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2013
Date Uploaded: 11.2014
Photo Location: Gandia, Spain
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © Ana Yturralde