Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2015, vol. 24, nr 2, March-April, p. 361–371

doi: 10.17219/acem/40460

Publication type: review article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Psychiatric Aspects of Herpes Simplex Encephalitis, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and Herpes Zoster Encephalitis Among Immunocompetent Patients

Magdalena Więdłocha1,A,B,C,D,F, Piotr Marcinowicz1,C,E,F,G, Bartłomiej Stańczykiewicz1,A,E,F

1 Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

Abstract

The psychopathological symptoms occurring in the course of diseases associated with infections are often initially isolated and non-characteristic, and may cause diagnostic difficulties. Moreover, such disorders tend to be less responsive to psychiatric management. Among possible causes such as trauma, neoplasm and vascular changes, inflammatory changes of the brain as a result of a viral infection should also be considered. There were 452 registered cases of viral encephalitis in Poland in 2010, and although not very prevalent they remain a severe and lifethreatening condition. What is more, the frequently occurring neurological and psychiatric complications of viral encephalitis often result in permanent disabilities, causing a significant decrease in the quality of life. This article presents the three types of encephalitis that are most prevalent among immunocompetent patients in Poland, i.e. herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE), tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and herpes zoster encephalitis (HZE). The psychopathology of the acute phase of the infection, the residual symptoms, features apparent in imaging studies and some neuropathological aspects are also presented. The paper also focuses on psychiatric aspects of the diagnostics and treatment of the described conditions. The clinical pictures of these infections are quite specific, although they cover a wide range of symptoms, and these characteristic features are described. The aim of this review is also to show the significance of thorough diagnostics and a multidisciplinary approach to patients with viral CNS infections.

Key words

herpes simplex encephalitis, varicella zoster encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, mental disorders.

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