Encephalitis Lethargica and Postencephalitic Parkinsonism

J. A. Vilensky, R. C. Duvoisin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Encephalitis lethargica (EL) was an epidemic disease of the 1920s that had many different forms, but was most typically characterized by sleep disorders (hyersomnolence and/or insomnia). EL was also associated with postencephalitic Parkinsonism, which could develop at any time during the disease process, even many years after apparent recovery. Although various infectious, parainfectious, and toxicologic agents have been postulated to have caused EL, no etiologic agent has been firmly associated with the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Movement Disorders
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123741059
ISBN (Print)9780123741011
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Chorea
  • Cranial nerve paresis/paralysis
  • Diplopia
  • Encephalitis lethargica (EL)
  • Epidemic encephalitis
  • Lethargy
  • Oculogyric crises
  • Paralysis
  • Postencephalitic Parkinsonism (PEP)
  • Ptosis
  • Sleepy (sleeping) sickness
  • Somnolence
  • Tremor
  • Von Economo's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Cite this

    Vilensky, J. A., & Duvoisin, R. C. (2010). Encephalitis Lethargica and Postencephalitic Parkinsonism. In Encyclopedia of Movement Disorders (pp. 446-450). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374105-9.00027-7