Rasmussen Encephalitis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Rasmussen Encephalitis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Rasmussen encephalitis, sometimes referred to as Rasmussen syndrome, is a rare disorder of the central nervous system characterized by chronic inflammation (encephalitis) of one hemisphere of the brain. As a result, the patient experiences frequent episodes of uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain that cause epileptic seizures (epilepsy). Further symptoms may include progressive weakness of one side of the body (hemiparesis), language problems (if on the left side of the brain) and intellectual disabilities. The exact cause of this disorder is not known. The two leading ideas are that the brain inflammation might be a reaction of a foreign antigen (infection) or an autoimmune disease limited to one side of the brain resulting in brain damage.

It occurs mostly, but not always, in children between the ages of two and ten years, and in many cases the course of the disease is most severe during the first 8 to 12 months. After the peak inflammatory response is reached, the progression of this disorder appears to slow or stop and the patient is left with permanent neurological deficits.

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/

Encephalitis Society

32 Castlegate
North Yorkshire, YO17 7DT
United Kingdom
Tel: 4401653692583
Website: http://www.encephalitis.info

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Hemispherectomy Foundation

P.O. Box 1239
Aledo, TX 76008
Tel: (817)307-9880
Email: info@hemifoundation.org
Website: http://www.hemifoundation.intuitwebsites.com/welcome.html

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

RE Children's Project, LLC

79 Christie Hill Road
Darien, CT 06820
Tel: 917-971-2977
Fax: 212-840-1233
Email: swohlberg@rechildrens.com
Website: http://www.rechildrens.org

Rasmussen's Syndrome and Hemispherectomy Support Network

8235 Lethbridge Road
Millersville, MD 21108
Tel: (410)987-5221
Email: lynn@hemifoundation.org
Website: http://hemifoundation.homestead.com/lynnmiller.html

The Arc

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202)534-3700
Fax: (202)534-3731
Tel: (800)433-5255
Email: info@thearc.org
Website: http://www.thearc.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  8/6/2015
Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.