Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Causing Rapidly Progressive Dementia and Myoclonic Jerks in a Sexagenarian Woman

  • Antonio Jose Reyes
  • Kanterpersad Ramcharan
  • Sean Perot
  • Stanley Lawrence Giddings
  • Fidel Rampersad
  • Reanna Gobin


Background: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a disease of childhood and adolescence, but can affect adults. Rapidly progressive cognitive decline, seizures including myoclonic jerks, spasticity, ataxia, visual disturbances, and incontinence are typical manifestations.

Case report: A 62-year-old woman who presented with rapidly progressive dementia and myoclonus was diagnosed with SSPE. There was resolution of the movement disorder with clonazepam and valproic acid treatment and some amelioration of cognitive decline after 3 months of therapy with interferon alfa and isoprinosine.

Discussion: With the recent rise in measles cases worldwide, any increased incidence of SSPE would require vigilance for early interventions.

Keywords: Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, myoclonic jerks, dementia, measles, isoprinosine, vaccination.

Citation: Reyes AJ, Ramcharan K, Perot S, Giddings SL, Rampersad F, Gobin R. Subacute Sclerosing panencephalitis causing rapidly progressive dementia and myoclonic jerks in a sexagenarian woman. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2019; 9. doi: 10.7916/tohm.v0.680