An In-Depth Overview of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
Ah, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) – a rare and devastating neurological condition. I understand you’re interested in learning more about it. What specifically would you like to know? Do you have questions about its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis?
What is SSPE?
SSPE is a progressive brain disorder caused by a persistent measles virus infection. It typically affects children and young adults several years (7-10 years on average) after the initial measles infection.
SSPE symptoms develop gradually and worsen over time. They can include:
- Changes in behavior and personality
- Memory loss and intellectual decline
- Muscle spasms and seizures
- Vision problems
- Difficulty speaking and swallowing
- Eventually coma and death
Diagnosing SSPE can be challenging. It usually involves a combination of medical history, neurological examinations, blood tests, and brain imaging studies.
There is no cure for SSPE. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Medications can help control seizures and muscle spasms. Physical and occupational therapy may be helpful in maintaining functioning.
SSPE is a fatal disease. Most people with SSPE die within a few years of diagnosis.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560673/
- Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Foundation: http://www.forgottendiseases.org/assets/SSPE.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001185.html