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November 1952

MEASLES ENCEPHALITIS: A Follow-Up Study of Sixteen Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; the Department of Social Relations, Harvard University, and the Children's Medical Center.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;84(5):543-579. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02050050017001

THE DISTURBED behavior of persons convalescent from acute encephalitides has been a subject of medical interest ever since the world-wide epidemic following the first world war. Opinion in regard to its genesis has gradually changed; whereas formerly the behavior complex, so well described, was felt to result from the action of the disease on the cerebrum, it is now more generally considered that the observed behavior is the result of the impact of environmental demands upon cerebral function qualitatively altered by disease. Whether the "postencephalitic behavior" following encephalitis lethargica is ever exactly duplicated in severity and duration after the common postinfectious encephalitides may be questioned; the fact that social maladjustments following the latter diseases are common cannot be doubted. The present study is an attempt to amplify and broaden the understanding of factors leading to behavior disturbances following attacks of measles encephalomyelitis treated at the Children's Hospital, Boston, between 1943