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encephalitis lethargica

encephalitis lethargica Causes

Encephalitis lethargica is one of those rare diseases that has unknown cause. But recent studies suggest that the disese is because of massive immune reaction to an infection by streptococcus-like bacterium, diplococcus . There are also some evidences associating that of autoimmune origin with some antibodies from patients along with several EL binding to the neurons located in the mid- and basal ganglia.

encephalitis lethargica Definition

Encephalitis lethargica or otherwise known as von Economo disease is categorized as an atypical manifestation of encephalitis. Also known as "sleepy sickness" or as "sleeping sickness".EL is a dreadful illness that swept the world in the 1920s and then vanished as quickly as it had appeared. EL primarily attacks the brain, then leaving some of its victims in a rather statue-like condition, both motionless as well as speechless.

encephalitis lethargica Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually based on clinical findings and patient history. The identification of the said virus in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or in the blood would positively confirm the said diagnosis. Arboviruses and herpes viruses can be isolated by inoculating young mice with specimens taken from patients. In the case of herpes encephalitis, a number of serologic studies may possibly show some rising titers of the complement-fixing antibodies. The virus-specific indirect fluorescent on the antibody assays will significantly improve the diagnosis. An EEG may also reveal several abnormalities. Occasionally, a computed tomography scan can be ordered to effectively rule out the possibility of cerebral hematoma.

encephalitis lethargica Symptoms and Signs

Patients with encephalitis lethargica have high fever, sore throat, headache & double vision. They also have delayed physical and mental response.Majority of the patients may also suffer and experience some abnormal rapid eye movements, upper body weakness,parkinsonism, tremors, muscular pains, neck rigidity, along with marked behavioral changes that includes psychosis.

encephalitis lethargica Treatment

Patient stabilization during the early stages of encephalitis lethargica is the best treatment. No evidence of consistent effective treatment for the early stages, but taking steroids has shown improvement. Levodopa and other anti-parkinson drug often show dramatic responses.

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