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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Rasmussen encephalitis

Other Names for this Disease
  • RE
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Your Question

Is there any possible way that Rasmussen encephalitis could be genetic? My brother-in-law has been diagnosed and my son has recently developed the same physical symptoms.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What causes Rasmussen encephalitis?

The underlying cause of Rasmussen encephalitis remains unknown. Current evidence suggests that autoimmune processes are responsible for the damage to the brain cells.[1][2] In most patients, the trigger of the abnormal immune response is unclear, although it may follow an otherwise minor bacterial or viral infection or head injury.[3]  Rasmussen encephalitis is a sporadic disease. It has not been associated with any particular environments or populations and cannot be caught from others.[2] Research is underway to help better understand the underlying cause.[1][2]
Last updated: 3/22/2012

Is there any evidence that Rasmussen encephalitis is genetic?

There is no evidence that Rasmussen encephalitis is inherited, although the possibility that genetic factors predispose people to the disease cannot be ruled out. Research is underway to better understand the cause of this disorder.[2]
Last updated: 3/22/2012