What is Rasmussen's encephalitis?

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Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare, chronic inflammatory disease that usually affects only one hemisphere of the brain. It occurs in children under the age of 10 (and more rarely in adolescents and adults) and is characterized by frequent and severe seizures, loss of motor skills and speech, paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis), the inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), and mental deterioration. Most individuals with Rasmussen's encephalitis will experience frequent seizures and brain damage over the course of the first 8-12 months and then enter a phase of permanent, but stable, neurological deficits. Scientists currently think that Rasmussen's encephalitis is an autoimmune disease in which immune system cells enter the brain and cause inflammation and damage.

This answer is based on source information from The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.