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According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes approximately 10 percent of encephalitis cases in the U.S.
The overwhelming majority of people with HSV encephalitis complain of headache, which is usually severe and unrelenting. People with HSV encephalitis often exhibit a decreased level of consciousness, which ranges from drowsiness to stupor to coma depending on the severity of the infection. Abnormal electrical activity that occurs in only one area of the brain causes a focal seizure. Encephalitis is the swelling and irritation of the brain which is caused due to infections. Send Home Our method Usage examples Index Contact StatisticsWe do not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content in this site.
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Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is a viral infection of the human central nervous system. HSE is thought to be caused by the retrograde transmission of virus from a peripheral site on the face following HSV-1 reactivation, along a nerve axon, to the brain.[1] The virus lies dormant in the ganglion of the trigeminal cranial nerve, but the reason for reactivation, and its pathway to gain access to the brain, remains unclear, though changes in the immune system caused by stress clearly play a role in animal models of the disease. Most individuals with HSE show a decrease in their level of consciousness and an altered mental state presenting as confusion, and changes in personality. He suffered from an infection called herpesviral encephalitis which is extremely difficult to treat. Herpes Simplex Virus is a virus which causes the infection known as Herpes Simplex.  Herpes Simplex Virus belongs to a family of virus called Herpesviridae. It usually causes diseases such as kertaoconjuctivitis, gingivostomatitis, encephalitis and recurrent herpes labialis. It is a disease in which painful vesicular lesions are produced in the anal and genitals of both male and female. It arises due to contact with vesicular rashes within the birth canal.  This virus is shed and can infect the baby during delivery. Neonatal herpes can occur by both type of viruses and both can cause serious sort of infection in neonates.  But no congenital abnormalities of significant nature are found to occur with either of the infections. A Herpes Simplex Virus enters the body not through simple skin contact but through mucous membranes.
In some rare cases herpes simplex infection also spreads to other body parts such as eyes and brain.
Once the virus enters your body it never leaves, but shows its signs of outbursts occasionally. Most of the infections caused by type 1 virus occur in the childhood and this is evident due to the presence of antibodies to the virus. The herpes simplex virus replicate in the mucous membrane or the skin at the primary site of the infection. To detect Herpes Simplex Virus, tests are conducted by examining the sores on the body parts. When the infection spreads besides the usual spots to other body parts like brain, the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is conducted. Other rapid diagnostic tests include enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in which virus-specific glycoproteins are detected. Certain serological tests for instant the neutralization test can be employed in making the diagnosis of herpes infection. In those women with genital herpes or positive cultures for virus, cesarean section is suggested.


With herpes encephalitis, the virus infects the brain tissues causing an intense inflammatory response by the immune system.
A stiff neck due to inflammation of the brain covering (the meninges) may accompany the headache. In those with severe disease, these symptoms quickly give way to more serious brain-related symptoms. The symptoms reflect the affected area of the brain and are limited to a specific region of the body. This is a rare condition which usually occurs in the first year of life and gradually decreases with age.
The majority of infections are caused by human herpesvirus 1 (herpesvirus 1, human) and less often by human herpesvirus 2 (herpesvirus 2, human). The olfactory nerve may also be involved in HSE,[5] which may explain its predilection for the temporal lobes of the brain, as the olfactory nerve sends branches there. Increased numbers of white blood cells can be found in patient's cerebrospinal fluid, without the presence of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Symptoms include fever, vesicular lesions in the mouth and irritability.  The initial disease is more severe and it remains for a considerable period of time. In contrast, antibodies to type 2 virus does not appear until the age of sexual activity is achieved.
It then moves up the neuron and there becomes latent in the ganglion particularly sensory ganglion cells. In this test the cells or fluids from blisters or blood or the spinal fluid is taken to find the genetic material of the HSV virus.
It is a good test as it detects the rise in antibody titer accurately.  But this test is only helpful in primary infection whereas it holds no importance in recurrent infections. These include acyclovir which is first line of drug for treating systemic diseases and encephalitis caused by HSV1.
Short temperedness, aggression, inflexibility, anxiety and unprovoked hostility are common symptoms.
Vision is also commonly affected; double vision, blind spots and light sensitivity are typical symptoms.
57% of American adults are infected with HSV-1,[3] which is spread through droplets, casual contact, and sometimes sexual contact, though most infected people never have cold sores. In horses, a single-nucleotide polymorphism is sufficient to allow the virus to cause neurological disease;[6] but no similar mechanism has been found in humans. The encephalitis of HSV1 is characterized by a formation of necrotic lesion particularly in the temporal area of the brain. It can easily be prevented by recommending caesarean section to the woman with herpes virus.
Cold sores over the mouth are caused by the HSV1 and the second virus type HSV2 is more responsible for herpes genital. People getting infected by it by their partners may not see the symptoms in their partners as virus may be in its dormant stage, but it successfully makes a human its carrier. HSV1 becomes dormant in the trigeminal ganglia while HSV2 in the sacral and lumbar ganglia. The herpes viral culture test may also be conducted wherein fluids or cells from the blisters are collected onto a cotton swab and put into a culture cup; it is then tested for the herpes infection and gives specific results especially for detecting herpes genital. It is done by taking cells from the skin lesions and staining with the Giemsa stain.  If multinucleated giant cells are found, then it confirms the infection by herpes. Autoimmune disease and the effects of cancer can also cause encephalitis. Encephalitis is uncommon.


Disinterest in normal activities and current circumstances and social withdrawal may occur.
This is in contrast to a generalized seizure, which involves the entire brain, causes a whole-body reaction, and is accompanied by loss of consciousness.
Pathologically, the condition is marked by a hemorrhagic necrosis involving the medial and inferior temporal lobe and orbital regions of the frontal lobe.
About 10% of cases of herpes encephalitis are due to HSV-2, which is typically spread through sexual contact. The electrical activity of the brain changes as the disease progresses, first showing abnormalities in one temporal lobe of the brain, which spread to the other temporal lobe 7a€“10 days later.[1] Imaging by CT or MRI shows characteristic changes in the temporal lobes (see Figure). Mostly fever chills and the aches and headache.Herpes Encephalitis65-year-old male with fever and altered mental status. The type 1 causes infection above the waist while the type 2 virus causes infection below the waist. HSV1 causes cold sores on the lips, generally spread by kissing or sharing and eating in same utensils during the infection.
The elderly and infants are more vulnerable and may have a more severe case of the disease. Symptoms When the virus enters the bloodstream, it may cause inflammation of brain tissue and surrounding membranes.
Early recognition of symptoms and prompt treatment significantly reduce the risk of death and permanent disability from this rare but serious infection.
Diminished impulse control can lead to out-of-character and socially inappropriate behavior. Focal seizure activity is common with herpes encephalitis and can manifest in a variety of ways.
About 1 in 3 cases of HSE result from primary HSV-1 infection, predominantly occurring in individuals under the age of 18; 2 in 3 cases occur in seropositive persons, few of whom have history of recurrent orofacial herpes. Definite diagnosis requires testing of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) for presence of the virus. Docosanol and penciclovir are good drugs for treating recurrent oropharyngeal herpes as a result of type 1 infection especially in immunodeficient patients.
The testing takes several days to perform, and patients with suspected Herpes encephalitis should be treated with acyclovir immediately while waiting for test results.
Seizure activity located in the brain area that controls the sense of smell may cause a sensory hallucination--tasting or smell something that is not present.
Other viruses can cause similar symptoms of encephalitis, though usually milder (human herpes virus-6, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, coxsackievirus, etc.). Intense visual flashbacks to past events occur with focal seizures in the visual areas of the brain.
In August 1999 a very rare and deadly case of herpes simplex type 1 was documented from South Africa. Patient master L.Naicker contracted this rare strain yet he survived and is the most notable recovery in history as he is still alive and on longterm anti-viral treatment.
Other cases are severe, and permanent impairment or death is possible. The acute phase normally lasts for 1 - 2 weeks.
Some people may take several months to fully recover. Possible Complications Permanent brain damage may occur in severe cases of encephalitis.



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