Progressieve cognitieve stoornissen bij een 17-jarige

Dagmar H. Hepp, Karin van Dijk, Cornelis J. Stam, Bob W. van Oosten en Elisabeth M.J. Foncke

Progressive cognitive disturbances in a 17-year-old boy


Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a fatal encephalitis manifesting a number of years after a primary measles infection. This disease has become very rare since the introduction of immunisation against measles in 1976.

Case description

A 17-year-old boy presented with progressive cognitive disturbances and extrapyramidal symptoms that had developed over a few weeks. He had not been immunised because of his parents’ religious beliefs, and had contracted measles at 4 years of age. An EEG was performed on the basis of clinical suspicion of SSPE, and showed the SSPE-specific, characteristic pattern of periodic complexes as described by Radermecker. The diagnosis of SSPE was confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid examination. Our patient died 4 months after initial diagnosis.


SSPE is still occurring in the Netherlands. The absence of effective treatment underlines the importance of prevention by means of immunization against measles.

Conflict of interest and financial support: ICMJE forms provided by the authors are available online along with the full text of this article.