Since it is difficult to determine the cause of encephalitis, and rapid treatment is essential, clinical guidelines recommend immediately administering the antiviral drug acyclovir without waiting to determine the cause of the illness.

With the exception of herpes simplex and varicella-zoster encephalitis, the viral forms of encephalitis are not treatable. Doctors should make the patients as comfortable as possible, using these treatments.

Administering anticonvulsant drugs like lorazepam to prevent seizures;

Easing the pressure caused by swelling of the brain (drugs like dexamethasone may help reduce inflammation);

Elevating the head with the lights off and noises kept to a minimum;

Lowering fever;

Prescribing sedatives for restlessness or irritability or pain relievers for fever and headache. 


Leading institutions are showing that neuroplasticity allows the brain to reorganize neural pathways, even in recovery from brain injury. Some encephalitis patients who engaged in cognitive therapies had faster recoveries than those who did not pursue therapy at all. With an acquired brain injury, goal-directed therapeutic rehabilitation is often yielding good results. The rehabilitation program may include one or more of the following:

Neuropsychological Testing           Cognitive Therapy

Speech Therapy                              Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy                     Balance Therapy

Psychological Therapy                    Biofeedback or Neurofeedback

                      FACES 2003 Encephalitis Conference Las Vegas, NV

                      FACES 2003 Encephalitis Conference Las Vegas, NV