Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Herpes Simplex Encephalitis

  • Bruce J. DiamondEmail author
  • Joseph E. Mosley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_557


Herpes encephalitis; Meningoencephalitis; Viral encephalitis

Short Description

Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is an infection of parenchymal brain tissue by either the herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1) or, less frequently, the herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV-2). Central nervous system (CNS) infection with HSV-1 or HSV-2 is most often characterized by inflammatory changes and tissue destruction in the temporal lobe. If HSE is suspected, treatment with acyclovir should be immediately initiated. Left untreated, HSV infections of the CNS are fatal in more than 70% of cases. However, with the advent of antiviral therapy with acyclovir, the mortality rate has decreased to 15–20% (Jouan et al. 2015).


The herpes viruses are DNA viruses that belong to the larger herpes viridae family (Halperin 2007). The HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses are further subcategorized as Alphaherpesvirinaebased on various characteristics that establish how they will manifest as disease in humans...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Anderson, M. (2001). Encephalitis and other brain infections. In M. Donaghy (Ed.), Brain diseases of the nervous system (pp. 1117–1180). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Boos, J., & Esiri, M. M. (2003). Viral encephalitis in humans. Washington, DC: ASM Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Canivet, C., Menasria, R., Rheaume, C., Piret, J., & Boivin, G. (2015). Valacyclovir combined with artesunate or rapamycin improves the outcome herpes simplex virus encephalitis in mice compared to antiviral therapy alone. Antiviral Research, 123, 105–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gnann, J., Skoldenberg, B., Hart, J., Aurelius, E., Schliamser, S., Studahl, M., Eriksson, B., Hanley, D., Aoki, F., Jackson, A., Griffiths, P., Miedzinski, L., Hanfelt-Goade, D., Hinthorn, D., Ahlm, C., Aksamit, A., Cruz-Flores, S., Dale, I., Cloud, G., Jester, P., & Whitley, R. (2015). Herpes simplex encephalitis: Lack of clinical benefit of long-term valacyclovir therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 61(5), 683–691.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Griffin, D. E. (2000). Encephalitis, myelitis, and neuritis. In G. L. Mandell, J. E. Bennett, & R. Dolin (Eds.), Principles and practice of infectious diseases (p. 1143). Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  6. Halperin, J. J. (Ed.). (2007). Encephalitis: Diagnosis and treatment. New York: Informa Healthcare.Google Scholar
  7. Hokkanen, L., & Launes, J. (2007). Neuropsychological sequelae of acute-onset sporadic viral encephalitis. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 17(4/5), 450–477.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jouan, Y., Grammatico-Guillon, L., Espitalier, F., Cazals, X., Francois, P., & Guillon, A. (2015). Long-term outcome of severe herpes encephalitis: A population-based observational study. Critical Care, 19(1), 345. 1–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nath, A., & Berger, J. R. (2000). Acute viral meningitis and encephalitis. In L. Goldman & J. C. Bennett (Eds.), Cecil textbook of medicine (pp. 2123–2126). Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.Google Scholar
  10. Prichard, M., Kern, E., Hartline, C., Lanier, E., & Quenelle, D. (2011). CMX001 potentiates the efficacy of acyclovir in herpes simplex virus infections. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 55(10), 4728–4734.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Roos, K. L., & Tyler, K. L. (2008). Meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess and empyema. In B. Fauci, H. Kasper, J. Longo, & Loscalzo J (Eds.), Harrison’s principles of internal medicine (17th ed., pp. 2621–2640). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  12. Vadlapudi, A., Vadlapatla, R., & Mitra, A. (2013). Update on emerging antivirals for the management of herpes simplex virus infections: A patenting perspective. Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery, 8(1), 55–67.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA