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Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jul;53(1):3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2015.03.013. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Virus and Immune-Mediated Encephalitides: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.

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1
Division of Pediatric Neurology, Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah. Electronic address: james.bale@hsc.utah.edu.

Abstract

Virus encephalitis remains a major cause of acute neurological dysfunction and permanent disability among children worldwide. Although some disorders, such as measles encephalomyelitis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, and varicella-zoster virus-associated neurological conditions, have largely disappeared in resource-rich regions because of widespread immunization programs, other disorders, such as herpes simplex virus encephalitis, West Nile virus-associated neuroinvasive disease, and nonpolio enterovirus-induced disorders of the nervous system, cannot be prevented. Moreover, emerging viral disorders pose new, potential threats to the child's nervous system. This review summarizes current information regarding the epidemiology of virus encephalitis, the diagnostic methods available to detect central nervous system infection and identify viral pathogens, and the available treatments. The review also describes immune-mediated disorders, including acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibody encephalitis, conditions that mimic virus encephalitis and account for a substantial proportion of childhood encephalitis.

KEYWORDS:

NMDA; acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; autoimmune encephalitis; encephalitis; epidemiology; seizures; virus

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