Semin Neurol 2011; 31(3): 266-285
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1287657
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Infectious Causes of Rapidly Progressive Dementia

Scott M. McGinnis1
  • 1Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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Publication History

Publication Date:
30 September 2011 (online)


Infections represent an uncommon but important to recognize cause of rapidly progressive dementia, as diagnosis and treatment may produce a favorable outcome in selected instances. This article reviews infectious causes of rapidly progressive dementia, including selected viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and prion diseases. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, imaging characteristics, laboratory diagnosis, and treatment options are discussed.