Treatment of Viral Encephalitis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Viral encephalitis is difficult to treat. Herpes simplex encephalitis has been successfully treated with acyclovir, but is still a cause for significant morbidity even with that treatment. A rare form of autoimmune encephalitis related to NMDA receptor antibody after infection by herpes simplex can be treated with corticosteroid therapy. Arthropod-borne encephalitides, such as West Nile virus encephalitis and Eastern equine encephalitis, are primarily treated with supportive measures. Attempts have been made to use immunoglobulin therapy with limited effects. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy has been treated with an emerging immune activation therapy in a limited number of patients with incomplete success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalNeurologic clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Anti-NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) encephalitis
  • Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE)
  • Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE)
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV) encephalitis
  • West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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