If you’ve never heard of encephalitis lethargica, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this mysterious neurological disorder has been largely forgotten, but it’s actually important to recognize, especially since it’s often misdiagnosed, often after its late-stage symptoms become more of a problem. Here are the basics: what it is, how it’s diagnosed, and how it’s usually treated.
Encephalitis Lethargica: An acute neurological disorder, encephalitis lethargica characterized by fever, headache, drowsiness, double vision and difficulty in movement. This disorder affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain. Rare cases can cause severe cases of encephalitis lethargica, also known as von Economo’s disease or sleepy sickness.
Encephalitis lethargica can present many different neurological symptoms, including:
- Muscle weakness and rigidity
- Significant behavioral changes
- Unusual body postures
- Facial tics
Treatment for encephalitis lethargica typically includes a course of medication for inflammation as well as physical and occupational therapy to help manage any motor or cognitive issues. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a combination of anticonvulsant medications to control seizures or antidepressants if the person is showing signs of depression. Additionally, psychological therapy may be recommended to help patients adjust to the physical and emotional changes associated with the disorder.
Encephalitis lethargica is a rare but serious neurological disorder. We hope this article has cleared up some of the confusion surrounding the condition and has educated readers on the associated symptoms and treatments. Everyone should now be aware of encephalitis lethargica and the potential risks associated with it. Seeking medical help at the first sign of any symptom is always recommended.
Stay safe and stay informed!