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The researchers said the rare form of epilepsy, Rasmussen's encephalitis, appeared to result when a patient's immune system attacks his own brain cells.
The RE Children's Project was founded in 2010 to increase awareness of Rasmussen's Encephalitis.
Rasmussen's encephalitis often strikes children under 10, causing severe, frequent epileptic seizures and eventually leading to dementia and paralysis on one side of the body.
In Rasmussen's encephalitis, there is chronic inflammation of the brain, with infiltration of T lymphocytes into the brain tissue.
Rasmussen's encephalitis is a symptomatic localization-related epilepsy that is a progressive, inflammatory lesion affecting children with onset before the age of 10.
In 1994 GluR3 was shown to act as an autoantigen in Rasmussen's encephalitis, leading to speculation that autoimmune activity might underlie the condition.
The Hemispherectomy Foundation was formed in 2008 to assist families with children who have Rasmussen's Encephalitis and other conditions that require hemispherectomy.
It is usually due to strokes in adults and focal cortical inflammatory processes in children (Rasmussen's encephalitis), possibly caused by chronic viral infections or autoimmune processes.
Rasmussen's encephalitis has been recorded with a neurovisceral porphyria, acute intermittent porphyria and after ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis).
The Hemispherectomy Foundation was founded in 2008, when a six-year-old girl, Jessie Hall, was hospitalized with Rasmussen's Encephalitis at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
However, more recent studies report the presence of autoantibodies against the NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunit GluRepsilon2 (anti-NR2A antibodies) in a subset of patients with Rasmussen's encephalitis.
Various neurological disorders are accompanied by antibody or autoantigen activity associated with glutamate receptors or their subunit genes (e.g. GluR3 in Rasmussen's encephalitis, and GluR2 in nonfamilial olivopontocerebellar degeneration.