Measles Sclerosing Subacute PanEncephalitis (SSPE), an intriguing and ever-present disease : Data, assumptions and new perspectives

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS..

BACKGROUND: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare, non-treatable and fatal neurological complication of measles, still present due to the return of the epidemic linked to the loosening of vaccination policies. Its mechanism remains unexplained.

OBJECTIVE: The main objective was to investigate explanatory variables relating to the risk of developing SSPE and its pathophysiology.

METHODS: Literature analysis was focused on different varieties of SSPE: perinatal forms, short-incubation forms similar to acute measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE), rapidly evolving forms, forms occurring in the immunosuppressed, adult forms, and family forms. In addition, several studies on the parameters of innate immunity and interferon responses of patients were analyzed.

RESULTS: Two main data were highlighted: a relationship between the so-called fulminant forms and the prescription of corticosteroids was established. In familial SSPE, two groups were individualized according to the duration of the latency period, prompting an analysis of patient exomes.

CONCLUSION: Treatment with corticosteroids should be banned. Knowledge of the genes involved and epigenetics should be useful for understanding the pathophysiology of SSPE and other late-onset neurological infections with RNA viruses.

Media Type:

Electronic Article

Year of Publication:


Contained In:

Revue neurologique - Vol. 177, No. 9 (2021), p. 1059-1068




Lebon, P
Gelot, A
Zhang, S-Y
Casanova, J-L
Hauw, J-J



Keywords: Schlagworte

Date Completed 16.11.2021

Date Revised 16.11.2021

published: Print-Electronic

Citation Status MEDLINE

Copyright: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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