Dengue: a new challenge for neurology

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Marzia Puccioni-Sohler
Marco Orsini *
Cristiane N. Soares
(*) Corresponding Author:
Marco Orsini | orsinimarco@hotmail.com

Abstract

Dengue infection is a leading cause of illness and death in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Forty percent of the world’s population currently lives in these areas. The clinical picture resulting from dengue infection can range from relatively minor to catastrophic hemorrhagic fever. Recently, reports have increased of neurological manifestations. Neuropathogenesis seems to be related to direct nervous system viral invasion, autoimmune reaction, metabolic and hemorrhagic disturbance. Neurological manifestations include encephalitis, encephalopathy, meningitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, polyneuropathy, mononeuropathy, and cerebromeningeal hemorrhage. The development of neurological symptoms in patients with positive Immunoglobulin M (IgM) dengue serology suggests a means of diagnosing the neurological complications associated with dengue. Viral antigens, specific IgM antibodies, and the intrathecal synthesis of dengue antibodies have been successfully detected in cerebrospinal fluid. However, despite diagnostic advancements, the treatment of neurological dengue is problematic. The launch of a dengue vaccine is expected to be beneficial.

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