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HERPES SIMPLEX ENCEPHALITIS

JAMA. 1966;195(13):1144. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100130118033.
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Many years ago Stephen Leacock1 praised the advance of medical science: "Just think of it. A hundred years ago there were no bacilli, no ptomaine poisoning, no diphtheria, and no appendicitis.... All of these things we owe to medical science." And, if he were alive today, the great Canadian humorist might add: no viral encephalitis. Not only have the viral encephalitides appeared in recent years, by courtesy of the various methods of viral isolation and culture, but the broad classification also has been broken down into specific diagnostic categories.

One category, defined some years ago, is that of herpes simplex encephalitis. This disease is a different and serious manifestation of the virus responsible for the ubiquitous coldsore. Diagnosis depends upon isolation of virus from the brain, demonstration of characteristic intranuclear inclusions in brain cells, or a four-fold or greater rise in antibodies against the herpes simplex virus. Researchers agree

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