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Steroid-Responsive Myoclonus in Adult-Onset Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
Vivek Sharma, M.D.; Devdutta Biswas, M.D.
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2013;25:E30-E32. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12100244
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Dept. of Psychiatry
Kailash Hospital
Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dept. of Psychiatry
Hindu Rao Hospital
New Delhi, India

Correspondence: Dr. Vivek Sharma; e-mail: doc.v.sharma@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association


To the Editor: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare inflammatory disease of the central nervous system caused by persistence of measles virus. The interval between primary measles and onset of SSPE is often protracted, averaging 6 years.1 The illness usually affects children and adolescents, although onset in adulthood is not uncommon.2 Typical course is heralded by intellectual and behavioral deterioration followed by myoclonic or other types of seizures and culminates in coma and ultimately death in several months.3 Despite this seemingly bleak prognosis, at least half of the patients experience substantial improvement or clinical plateaus, and an estimated 1 in 5 patients survive more than 4 years.4

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