Encephalitis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to infections. Encephalitis is a rare condition. It occurs more often in the first year of life and decreases with age. The very young and older adults are more likely to have a severe case. Encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus is the leading cause of more severe cases in all ages, including newborns.
Confusion, agitation or hallucinations Seizures Loss of sensation or paralysis in certain areas of the face or body Muscle weakness Double vision Perception of foul smells, such as burned meat or rotten eggs Problems with speech or hearing Loss of consciousness Body stiffness Nausea and vomiting
CT scan Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect genetic material of the virus has greatly improved the diagnosis of herpes encephalitis. EEG Lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap.