Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Facts! Rasmussen's Encephalitis

Welcome to Friday Facts! here on the Knowledge Safari blog. Each week we aim to shine the spotlight on various segments of special needs in order to raise awareness and provide information.

Today we are highlighting Rasmussen's Encephalitis.

Click Here for a great blog about a Jessie an 8 year old cutie who has RE.

The following is taken from the Encephalitis Society website. Click here to read more.


Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE; also called Rasmussen’s syndrome) is a progressive inflammation of the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, which is made up of a right and a left hemisphere. The disease starts at one site in one hemisphere and spreads to adjoining areas on the same side. Curiously, it does not spread to the other hemisphere. The inflammation leads to loss of nerve cells and scar formation and usually results in severe disability. Although RE is most often diagnosed in children under the age of 10 years, it can also start in adolescence and adulthood. It is a rare disorder and probably affects one person in every 500 000 to 1 000 000.

Clinical features

The clinical problems in RE are determined by which areas of the affected hemisphere are inflamed: each area has different functions. As the disease spreads, more areas are damaged and the greater the severity and range of the disabilities. Typically, the disease progresses relentlessly until most of one hemisphere is affected. The inflammation burns out by itself only rarely before severe disability has occurred. However, the speed of the spread varies between patients. At one end of the spectrum, the disease advances rapidly over a few weeks or months. At the other end, progression occurs slowly over several years. This slower clinical variant seems to be more common in adolescents and adults than in children. It is possible that there are milder forms of RE that we fail to recognize.

1 comment:

Seth Wohlberg said...

Many thanks for writing this note on RE. It is truly a devastating disease. The RE Children's Project is dedicated to finding the cure.

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