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We have learnt that Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) is a thief. In the same way we have watched in recent months Ebola rob people of their lives and loved ones, Encephalitis has quietly been at work for hundreds of years, robbing families of their loved ones, and even in those families where the person survives, it robs them of the person they once knew.
Encephalitis steals their capacity to remember as well as their personalities and the types of abilities we all generally take for granted: concentration, attention, thinking, judgement inhibition. For many there are additional outcomes such as epilepsy and levels of fatigue so great that returning to work or education are mere pipe dreams. This is of course, where the person survives, many don’t. We know there are around 6000 people diagnosed with Encephalitis each year in the United Kingdom alone. That's 16 people every day. This, it seems is also considered an underestimate. Not only that but it is thought that, and again this is an underestimate, Encephalitis is costing the NHS around £40 million a year, and this figure does not include the costs of rehabilitation, long-term care, and the loss to the economy from those of working-age unable to return to work. This means that Encephalitis has a higher incidence than Motor Neurone Disease and certain forms of Meningitis.
Yet, despite being more common, these conditions receive a much higher clinical and public profile. People have not heard of Encephalitis unless it has happened to them or they are caring for a survivor.
The Encephalitis Society is the operating name of the Encephalitis Support Group which is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.
Registered in England and Wales No. 4189027. Registered Office as above. Registered Charity No. 1087843.