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Brain Dev. 2009 Aug;31(7):510-4. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2009.02.010. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Acute encephalitis with refractory, repetitive partial seizures.

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  • 1Department of Child Neurology, National Center Hospital for Mental, Nervous and Muscular Disorders, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-higashicho, Kodaira, Japan.


Acute encephalitis with refractory, repetitive partial seizures (AERRPS) represents a peculiar form of encephalitis mainly affecting children. They usually present abruptly with seizure or impaired consciousness as well as high-grade fever following antecedent infection. Seizures in AERRPS are almost exclusively of localized origin, whose semiology includes eye deviation, hemifacial twitching, hemiclonic convulsion, and autonomic manifestations. Partial seizures are brief, but repeat with increasing frequency and develop status epilepticus at nadir. They are extremely pharmaco-resistant and are only suppressed by intravenous administration of high-dose barbiturates. Although acute seizures are hardly controlled, patients gradually recover with decreasing seizure frequency and continuously evolve into post-encephalitic epilepsy without latent period. Residual cognitive impairment is common. Electroencephalograms in active stage demonstrate electrical seizure activities and interictal periodic discharges. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals late cerebral atrophy with limited signal abnormality. Persistent fever during active stage, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis, and up-regulation of neopterin raise the hypothesis that inflammatory process is involved in this condition. Furthermore, early production of autoantibody against NMDA receptor 2B in serum and CSF, although its disease specificity is still in controversy, is suggestive of autoimmune etiology. Exploration for definite clinical marker is currently in progress.

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