What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, most often caused by infections.

Causes of Encephalitis

In the UK, the cause in over 50% of cases is unknown, despite extensive testing. Where the cause is identified, it is most likely to be the Herpes-Simplex virus, but there are a number of other viruses or bacteria that can cause encephalitis.

Diagnosis and treatment of Encephalitis

Encephalitis resulting from Herpes-Simplex virus can be treated quite effectively with an anti-viral drug, but early diagnosis is important to reduce the long-term damage. At present, there are few effective treatments for encephalitis causes by different viruses, and care mainly focuses on support and symptom management.

In many cases, people will make a good recovery from encephalitis, but nerve cells in the brain may be damaged. This can lead to long-term effects, which are sometimes severe.

Effects of Encephalitis

You can read more about the symptoms of Encephalitis in the effects of brain injury section. Most Headway groups and branches can offer support to people with Encephalitis, their family and carers.

My story

"Determination played a vital role in my recovery"

When Bruno Muratori, 46 and from London, contracted viral encephalitis as a teenager, the bright science student sustained a brain injury that left him with memory and balance problems, hearing loss and many other effects that would go on to challenge him for years to come.


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