Human herpes virus 6B

A possible role in epilepsy?

William H. Theodore, Leon Epstein, William D. Gaillard, Shlomo Shinnar, Mark S. Wainwright, Steven Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) infection is nearly ubiquitous in childhood and may include central nervous system invasion. There are two variants, HHV6A and HHV6B. Usually asymptomatic, it is associated with the common, self-limited childhood illness roseola infantum and rarely with more severe syndromes. In patients with immune compromise, subsequent reactivation of viral activity may lead to severe limbic encephalitis. HHV6 has been identified as a possible etiologic agent in multiple sclerosis, myocarditis, and encephalitis. A preponderance of evidence supports an association between HHV6 and febrile seizures. An ongoing multicenter study is investigating possible links between HHV6 infection, febrile status epilepticus, and development of mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS). Investigation of temporal lobectomy specimens showed evidence of active HHV6B but not HHV6A replication in hippocampal astrocytes in about two-thirds of patients with MTS but not other causes of epilepsy. It has been suggested that HHV6B may cause "excitotoxicity" by interfering with astrocyte excitatory amino acid transport. Although conventional inflammatory changes are not found in most MTS specimens, inflammatory modulators may play a role in neuronal injury leading to MTS as well. If the link between early viral infection, complex or prolonged febrile seizures, and later development of intractable temporal lobe epilepsy is confirmed, new therapeutic approaches to a common intractable epilepsy syndrome may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1828-1837
Number of pages10
JournalEpilepsia
Volume49
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Fingerprint

Human Herpesvirus 6
Sclerosis
Epilepsy
Viruses
Virus Diseases
Febrile Seizures
Astrocytes
Exanthema Subitum
Limbic Encephalitis
Excitatory Amino Acids
Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Status Epilepticus
Myocarditis
Encephalitis
Multicenter Studies
Multiple Sclerosis
Fever
Central Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Febrile seizures
  • Human herpes virus
  • Mesial temporal sclerosis
  • Temporal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Cite this

Theodore, W. H., Epstein, L., Gaillard, W. D., Shinnar, S., Wainwright, M. S., & Jacobson, S. (2008). Human herpes virus 6B: A possible role in epilepsy? Epilepsia, 49(11), 1828-1837. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01699.x

Human herpes virus 6B : A possible role in epilepsy? / Theodore, William H.; Epstein, Leon; Gaillard, William D.; Shinnar, Shlomo; Wainwright, Mark S.; Jacobson, Steven.

In: Epilepsia, Vol. 49, No. 11, 11.2008, p. 1828-1837.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Theodore, WH, Epstein, L, Gaillard, WD, Shinnar, S, Wainwright, MS & Jacobson, S 2008, 'Human herpes virus 6B: A possible role in epilepsy?', Epilepsia, vol. 49, no. 11, pp. 1828-1837. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01699.x
Theodore WH, Epstein L, Gaillard WD, Shinnar S, Wainwright MS, Jacobson S. Human herpes virus 6B: A possible role in epilepsy? Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49(11):1828-1837. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01699.x
Theodore, William H. ; Epstein, Leon ; Gaillard, William D. ; Shinnar, Shlomo ; Wainwright, Mark S. ; Jacobson, Steven. / Human herpes virus 6B : A possible role in epilepsy?. In: Epilepsia. 2008 ; Vol. 49, No. 11. pp. 1828-1837.
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