The history of Rasmussen encephalitis is in many ways an unfinished story, a history still in the making. Rasmussen encephalitis has been known by various names, including chronic (focal) encephalitis and Russian spring-summer tick-borne encephalitis. As a well-established cause of epilepsia partialis continua, it remains one of the most mysterious and devastating epileptic syndromes. Studies of Rasmussen encephalitis have led to advances in the fields of neurology and epileptology. What began as an observation slightly more than a century ago has sparked new interest in surgical approaches to epilepsy and prompted particular insights into the emerging science of neuroimmunology.
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Lynn Buckham (1918-1982), American. Portrait of Dr Theodore Rasmussen, 1974. Oil on canvas. Reprinted with permission from the Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Quebec. Copyright Montreal Neurological Institute Archives.
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