A retrospective study among children aged 1 month to 18 years hospitalized with the diagnosis of acute encephalitis between January 1999 and December 2009. Secondary exacerbation was characterized clinically by severe ballismic movement disorder in all five children, associated with fever, impairment of consciousness, and seizures. Chambers), Royal Perth Hospital, and the State Health Laboratory Services (Dr. Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) can cause high mortality and morbidity in children. Acyclovir is a very effective antiviral of herpes simplex virus. Paediatrics and Child Health 2007: 12: pp 319-322. Twelve out of the 16 cases (75%) had HSV detected in the CSF by PCR; two of these had negative PCR on day 1, but positive PCR after day 5.
This is because without this treatment a very high proportion of children who are ill with herpes simplex encephalitis will not survive. Steroids may be given, steroids lessen the activity of the immune system. Although the immune system is the body’s defence against infection, it can be overactive in encephalitis. These data identify AD partial TBK1 deficiency as a new genetic etiology of childhood HSE, indicating that TBK1 is essential for the TLR3- and IFN-dependent control of HSV-1 in the CNS. Certain immune cells target and destroy cells that contain virus, but in the brain they can also damage healthy nerve cells which cannot be regenerated. Steroids are also used to treat autoimmune types of encephalitis. A less active immune system will produce less of the antibodies that are causing the illness.
When steroids are not effective in reducing the load of antibodies, IVIG or plasma exchange may be given. If your child is critically ill, or has excessive brain swelling or has constant seizures then he/she will be put on a life support machine. This machine takes over all you child’s vital functioning allowing their brain and body to rest and recover.