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Rasmussen’s Syndrome

What is Rasmussen’s syndrome?

Rasmussen's syndrome (also known as Rasmussen’s encephalitis) appears to be an autoimmune process that causes one hemisphere of the brain to become inflamed and deteriorate.  Inflammation may stop without treatment, but the damage is irreversible. Rasmussen’s syndrome is associated with intractable unilateral seizures, progressive hemiparesis or weakness on one side and intellectual dysfunction. Seizures are often the first symptom to appear.

Symptoms of Rasmussen's syndrome

Rasmussen's syndrome typically begins between 14 months and 14 years of age.  Weakness and other neurological problems often begin 1 to 3 years after the seizures start.

Treatment for Rasmussen’s syndrome

Rasmussen’s syndrome is difficult or impossible to control with medication – often, the best treatment option is surgery, including hemispherectomy.

Find out more about the Johns Hopkins Center for Pediatric Rasmussen Syndrome.

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For more information about Rasmussen’s syndrome or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.

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