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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Herpes simplex encephalitis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Anterior encephalocele
  • Frontal encephalocele
  • Herpetic encephalitis
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Overview

Herpes simplex encephalitis is a rare neurological condition that is characterized by inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). People affected by this condition may experience a headache and fever for up to 5 days, followed by personality and behavioral changes; seizures; hallucinations; and altered levels of consciousness. Without early diagnosis and treatment, severe brain damage or even death may occur. Herpes simplex encephalitis is caused by a virus called the herpes simplex virus. Most cases are associated with herpes simplex virus type I (the cause of cold sores or fever blisters), although rare cases can be caused by herpes simplex virus type II (genital herpes). It is poorly understood why some people who are infected with herpes simplex virus develop herpes simplex encephalitis while others do not. Changes (mutations) in genes such as TLR3 and TRAF3 have been observed suggesting there may be a genetic component in some cases. Treatment consists of antiviral therapy.[1][2]
Last updated: 8/26/2015

References

  1. Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN. Herpes Simplex Encephalitis. Medscape Reference. April 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1165183-overview.
  2. Robyn S Klein, MD, PhD. Herpes simplex virus type 1 encephalitis. UpToDate. August 2014; Accessed 8/26/2015.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Herpes simplex encephalitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Anterior encephalocele
  • Frontal encephalocele
  • Herpetic encephalitis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.