Encephalitis Lethargica

Common Name(s)

Encephalitis Lethargica

Encephalitis lethargica is a disease characterized by high fever, headache, double vision, delayed physical and mental response, extreme tiredness (lethargy), and sometimes coma. Patients may also experience abnormal eye movements, upper body weakness, muscule pain, tremors, neck rigidity, and behavioral changes including psychosis. A world-wide epidemic of encephalitis lethargica occurred from 1917 to 1928. The cause of this condition is unknown, and treatment depends on a person's symptoms. Levodopa and other antiparkinson drugs often produce dramatic responses.
 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Encephalitis Lethargica" for support, advocacy or research.

Encephalitis Global Inc.

Encephalitis Global (E Global) is a U.S.A. 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2005 as an alliance connecting encephalitis survivors and caregivers around the world. E Global strives to raise awareness, aiming to promote swift diagnosis, to alleviate unnecessary suffering and to prevent untimely death.

Last Updated: 19 Feb 2013

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Encephalitis Lethargica" for support, advocacy or research.

Encephalitis Global Inc.

Encephalitis Global (E Global) is a U.S.A. 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2005 as an alliance connecting encephalitis survivors and caregivers around the world. E Global strives to raise awareness, aiming to promote swift diagnosis, to alleviate unnecessary suffering and to prevent untimely death.

http://www.encephalitisglobal.org

Last Updated: 19 Feb 2013

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Encephalitis Lethargica" returned 13 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Substantia nigra depigmentation and exposure to encephalitis lethargica.
 

Author(s): Nawaz Hack, Gregory A Jicha, Annalisa Abell, Dawson Dean, Jerrold L Vitek, Joseph R Berger

Journal: Ann. Neurol.. 2012 Dec;72(6):912-7.

 

Parkinsonism has occasionally been reported as a consequence of infectious diseases. The present study examines the clinical and pathological correlates of parkinsonism across birth cohorts in relation to critical exposure to the encephalitis lethargica epidemic in the early 1900s.

Last Updated: 2 Jan 2013

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Evidence for an enterovirus as the cause of encephalitis lethargica.
 

Author(s): Robert R Dourmashkin, Glynis Dunn, Victor Castano, Sherman A McCall

Journal:

 

The epidemic of encephalitis lethargica (EL), called classical EL, was rampant throughout the world during 1917-1926, affecting half a million persons. The acute phase was lethal for many victims. Post-encephalitic parkinsonism (PEP) affected patients for decades. Our purpose was ...

Last Updated: 24 Sep 2012

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Encephalitis lethargica and the influenza virus. II. The influenza pandemic of 1918/19 and encephalitis lethargica: epidemiology and symptoms.
 

Author(s): Paul Bernard Foley

Journal: J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2009 Oct;116(10):1295-308.

 

This is the first of two papers which critically examine the relationship between the 1918/19 influenza pandemic and encephalitis lethargica (EL). The role of influenza in the etiology of EL was vigorously debated until 1924. It is notable, however, that the unitarian camp were largely ...

Last Updated: 16 Sep 2009

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Encephalitis Lethargica" returned 3 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Does the historical literature on encephalitis lethargica support a simple (direct) relationship with postencephalitic Parkinsonism?
 

Author(s): Joel A Vilensky, Sid Gilman, Sherman McCall

Journal: Mov. Disord.. 2010 Jul;25(9):1124-30.

 

This article and the subsequent one suggest that the currently accepted view of a simplistic (direct) relationship between encephalitis lethargica (EL) and postencephalitic Parkinsonism (PEP) is based on a incomplete evaluation of the epidemic period literature. In this article we ...

Last Updated: 26 Jul 2010

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A historical analysis of the relationship between encephalitis lethargica and postencephalitic parkinsonism: a complex rather than a direct relationship.
 

Author(s): Joel A Vilensky, Sid Gilman, Sherman McCall

Journal: Mov. Disord.. 2010 Jul;25(9):1116-23.

 

Postencephalitic parkinsonism has been considered unique among disorders with parkinsonian features because it is believed to have a unitary etiology associated with the virus that presumably caused encephalitis lethargica. Careful analysis of the historical record, however, suggests ...

Last Updated: 26 Jul 2010

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The relationship between encephalitis lethargica and influenza: a critical analysis.
 

Author(s): Sherman McCall, Joel A Vilensky, Sid Gilman, Jeffery K Taubenberger

Journal: J. Neurovirol.. 2008 May;14(3):177-85.

 

Since encephalitis lethargica's (EL) prevalence in the 1920s, epidemiologic and clinical debate has persisted over whether EL was caused by, potentiated by, or merely coincident with the Spanish influenza pandemic. Epidemiologic analyses generally suggest that the disorders were coincidental. ...

Last Updated: 23 Jun 2008

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

There are currently no open clinical trials for this condition.