Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, though rare, can happen to
anyone, anytime, anywhere, at any age. Its etiologies, or causes, are varied; there is no known cure; and 20% of its victims die. Those who survive its assault more-often-than-not are left with an acquired brain injury necessitating expert medical treatment and skilled professional rehabilitation. Its sequelae, or residuals, are varied, life-altering and costly, leaving survivors and their loved ones changed forever. The International Encephalitis Consortium (The IEC) – a network of infectious disease professionals, neurologists, rehabilitation specialists, researchers and survivors – collaborates to reduce the global impact of encephalitis. Resources for research are scarce and urgently needed; your donation, large or small, can make a difference, save a life, even help find a cure.
The invisible nature of encephalitis makes it difficult, sometimes impossible, to have the public show true compassion for what we are coping with, every day.
Each year 20,000 people in the United States and 500,000 people globally are affected of this
difficult-to-diagnose illness. The aftermath of encephalitis is devastating for patients, families and society alike. It can leave a family in financial ruin; more than half of survivors are unable to return to work, resulting in a 70% reduction in income. In the United States alone hospital costs for the treatment of encephalitis have doubled in the last 10 years, resulting in a $2 billion price tag, not including charges for physicians, diagnostic testing, pharmaceuticals or rehabilitation.
Research clearly indicates that good hospital care, followed by comprehensive rehabilitation,
results in significantly better outcomes for encephalitis survivors. Proper diagnostics, appropriate drug therapy and rest, followed by the right balance of treatment for physical, speech, cognitive and behavioral sequelae, offer the survivor a greater likelihood of returning to a productive and fulfilling life. However, in the absence of standardized diagnostic algorithms, or processes, and well-defined treatment protocols, survivors are often left to manage their own recovery. They stumble in the dark, unclear what to do or where to turn; all the while suffering with debilitating headaches, paralyzing exhaustion, challenges walking and talking, as well as significant problems with memory and concentration.
In more than 50% of cases the etiology, or cause, is unknown, making increased research
imperative. The International Encephalitis Consortium, formed in 2010, strives to reduce the global impact of encephalitis. The IEC is comprised of healthcare professionals, researchers and survivors from across the globe: North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In collaboration IEC members share knowledge and develop strategies that target problematic issues in diagnosing, treating and supporting those who have been impacted by encephalitis. Their work includes:
- Developing swift and effective diagnostic algorithms, or processes;
- Improving treatment and drug therapy during the acute phase of the illness;
- Determining standard rehabilitation protocols for improved long-term outcomes;
- Advancing awareness and knowledge about encephalitis for both health care professionals and the general public.
With your financial support the International Encephalitis Consortium can reduce the rate of
encephalitis, improve outcomes for those who are diagnosed, and discover cures that will eradicate this silent thief, this life-changing illness.