SSPE incidence, therapy receive renewed attention

Phil Gunby
JAMA. 1981;246(9):927-932. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320090007004.
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The national registry for subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which contains information on about 600 patients so far, now is located at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.

Physicians with data for the registry can contact Paul R. Dyken, MD, professor of pediatric neurology, or coordinator Patricia Shmunes at (404) 828-3374. At the moment, the registry is sponsored by the Bureau of Biologics of the Food and Drug Administration under a three-year, $73,895 contract.

Recognized as a distinct clinical entity since 1933, SSPE appears to be a relatively rare, progressive CNS disease of the young. The disease usually is insidious The in onset, often beginning with subtle changes in personality, behavior, and perhaps mentation. (Some investigators speculate that the prognosis might be more favorable if these changes were recognized and brought to a specialist's attention earlier.)

With time, SSPE usually produces increasing mental and motor dysfunction, eventually leading to seizures, loss of


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