IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th October, 2023 Health

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Picture Courtesy: www.verywellhealth.com

Context: Brianna Bodley, a 6-year-old with Rasmussen's encephalitis, had half of her brain switched off through surgery to halt the disease and possibly provide a cure.

About Rasmussen's encephalitis

  • Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare neurological disease primarily affecting children (average age 6 years) but can occur in adults as well.
  • It is characterized by inflammation of the brain, leading to severe seizures, hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body), loss of motor skills and speech, and cognitive difficulties.
  • The inflammation in Rasmussen's encephalitis involves the infiltration of T lymphocytes into the brain tissue, causing permanent damage to brain cells and atrophy of the affected hemisphere. The exact cause is unknown, but autoantibodies against specific receptors in the brain have been implicated.
  • Symptoms of Rasmussen's encephalitis can include seizures, weakness on one side of the body, and loss of speech or vision. The disease can also cause progressive brain damage.
  • There is no cure for Rasmussen's encephalitis, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Surgery is sometimes recommended for patients with severe symptoms or who are not responding to other treatments.
  • Rasmussen's encephalitis often results in permanent disabilities such as epilepsy, paralysis, and cognitive problems. The severity varies among individuals.


Q. Consider the following statements:

Statement 1: Rasmussen's encephalitis leads to temporary symptoms that resolve on their own without treatment.

Statement 2: There are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of Rasmussen's encephalitis.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

A) Both Statement-1 and Statement-2 are correct and Statement-2 is the correct explanation for Statement-1

B) Both Statement-1 and Statement-2 are correct and Statement-2 is not the correct explanation for Statement-1

C) Statement-1 is correct but Statement-2 is incorrect

D) Statement-1 is incorrect but Statement-2 is correct

Answer: D

Explanation: Statement 1 is incorrect because Rasmussen's encephalitis leads to persistent and progressive symptoms due to brain damage; it does not resolve on its own. Statement 2 is correct because while there is no cure, there are treatments available to manage symptoms and slow down the disease's progression.