Clinical and Epidemiological Study


, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 192-195

First online:

Changing Epidemiological Features of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

  • B. AnlarAffiliated withHacettepe University Dept. of Pediatric Neurology, Ankara, Turkey; Phone: (+90/312) 311-3711, Fax: -310-6262, e-mail:
  • , G. KöseAffiliated withSocial Security Teaching Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  • , Y. GürerAffiliated withDr. S. Ulus Children's Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  • , Ş AltunbaşakAffiliated withÇukurova University Dept. of Pediatric Neurology, Adana, Turkey
  • , S. HaspolatAffiliated withAkdeniz University, Dept. of Pediatric Neurology, Antalya, Turkey
  • , M. OkanAffiliated withUludağ University Dept. of Pediatric Neurology, Bursa, Turkey

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Background: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a chronic central nervous (CNS) system infection caused by measles virus. Because changing immunization practices affect the epidemiology of measles and consequently SSPE, we examined the epidemilogical data of our SSPE registry.

Materials and Methods: Age of onset, age at onset of measles, duration of latent period and immunization status were examined in cases recorded at the SSPE Registry Center in Turkey between 1975 and 1999.

Results: Age of onset diminished from 13 years before 1994 to 7.6 years after 1995; age at onset of measles declined from 29 months to 20 months and the latent interval from 9.9 years to 5.9 years. Age at onset of measles and immunization status did not directly affect the duration of the latent period.

Conclusion: Although its incidence has decreased in Turkey, SSPE has been seen at younger ages in recent years. This change cannot be attributed solely to younger age at onset of measles. Factors affecting the duration of the latent period should be investigated further.

Key Words Measles Immunization Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis