Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
The electrical activity of the brain, as recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG), shows progressive changes during the disease that are typical of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. These changes parallel the slow deterioration of central nervous system functions.
A number of clinical staging scales have been used for several decades to categorize people with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis according to their corresponding clinical status.
More recently, a different staging system was developed based on the radiological findings of the brain by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This method, however, has not succeeded in establishing a complete correlation between radiological abnormalities and clinical progress.
For several decades, the palliative treatment for subacute sclerosing panencephalitis has included anticonvulsant therapy and supportive measures (tube feedings and good nursing care -- especially in people with advanced disease).
Medical literature during the last decade, however, has shown stabilization of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and delay in clinical progression after therapy with:
- Inosine pranobex (oral Isoprinosine®)
- Oral Isoprinosine combined with interferon beta
- Intrathecal interferon alpha combined with IV ribavirin
- Oral Isoprinosine combined with intrathecal or intraventricular interferon alpha (up to 50 percent rate of remission or improvement).
However, no controlled studies have been performed to evaluate these treatments for subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added inosine pranobex (Isoprinosine) to its List of Orphan Products Designations and Approvals (1988) for the treatment of this disease.