Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

(SSPE; Dawson Disease)

Definition

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a condition that affects the brain and spine. It is a gradual break down of nerve cells from constant swelling.When left untreated, SSPE almost always leads to death.
Central Nervous System
si1210 97870 1 central nervous
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

SSPE is caused either by an altered form of the measles virus or an abnormal immune response to measles. It occurs anywhere from 2-10 years after contracting measles.

Risk Factors

SSPE is more common in male, and in those aged 5-15 years old. Other factors that may increase your chance of SSPE include:
  • Measles infection in infancy
  • Not being vaccinated against measles
  • Ethnicity:
    • Arabs and Sephardic Jews have an incidence that is 6 times higher than Ashkenazi Jews.
    • Caucasians have a 4-fold higher incidence than African Americans in the United States.

Symptoms

Symptoms of SSPE may include:
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Irritability
  • Loss of intellectual abilities
  • Memory loss
  • Involuntary movements
  • Seizures
  • Inability to walk
  • Speech impairment with poor understanding
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blindness
  • Muteness
  • Loss of consciousness

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Tests may include blood tests and an electrocardiogram (EKG).Imaging tests to evaluate bodily structures may include:

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals



April 2015

A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.

dot separator
previous editions

Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook