New Approaches to Encephalitis Treatment

The Johns Hopkins Encephalitis Center features a multidisciplinary team dedicated to advancing the frontiers of our knowledge of encephalitis to help patients through prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. Our group continues to innovate the entire continuum of encephalitis care, from diagnosis to long-term management, including:

Establishing Diagnostic Guidelines

Our team is leading efforts to develop diagnostic guidelines that will improve outcomes in patients with encephalitis. The use of standardized guidelines and algorithms has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in other fields of medicine.

Advancing Treatments and Therapies

Our team is working on advanced diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to limit brain damage in encephalitis patients upon admission to the hospital. Seizures, for example, are a major cause of medical problems in hospitalized encephalitis patients. We are using continuous electrical monitoring of patients’ brains and aggressive anti-epileptic strategies to limit seizures. 

We also use cutting-edge medical and surgical techniques to monitor and treat brain swelling that accompanies encephalitis, and offer comprehensive ventilator and nutrition support for such patients.

Identifying New Causes

In more than 60% of cases, the specific cause of encephalitis cannot be determined. We are working with several groups to identify new microorganisms that cause encephalitis, which is the first step to developing effective treatments.

Studying Long-Term Symptom Management

Survivors of encephalitis are left with numerous debilitating symptoms, which are not well studied. We are carrying out large-scale studies in patients who have recovered from acute encephalitis in order to characterize symptoms and identify targets for treatment.

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