Cognitive Outcome in Acute Sporadic Encephalitis
- Cite this article as:
- Hokkanen, L. & Launes, J. Neuropsychol Rev (2000) 10: 151. doi:10.1023/A:1009079531196
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Acute encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain parenchyma. In the United States, 20,000 cases occur yearly. A variety of cognitive deficits, often the sole cause of disability, may persist after the acute stage. Still, infectious diseases tend to be covered only briefly in neuropsychological handbooks. Recent literature demonstrates the heterogeneity of both amnestic disorders and the outcome following encephalitides. Herpes Simplex virus (HSV), the most common single etiology of sporadic encephalitis, usually causes the most severe symptoms. Modern antiviral medication, however, seems to improve the cognitive outcome. Much less is known about non-HSV encephalitides, where both mild and severe defects have been observed. This article summarizes the current knowledge and also calls upon a more active neuropsychological research in the area.