Figura. Constantin von Economo.
Encephalitis lethargica. The epidemic at the dawn of neurology
Summary. Lethargic encephalitis is a neurological illness that shows a wide range of symptoms and signs, including neurological and psychiatric spectrum. It presented in an epidemic way, following influaenza relapses. The last relapse started at the beginning of 20th century and it was deeply described by Constantin von Economo. The illness described first in Europe and North America, was described in many others countries including Chile. There were beautiful descriptions by Chilean physicians like Lea-Plaza, Tello, Iturra and Cienfuegos. Their works showed the complexity of the illness like European physicians did too. The etiology is still unknown; however growing evidence about autoinmune aetiology is gaining force with the use of actual medical technology. In this work, we show encephalitis lethargica, focusing in clinical picture, the beauty of medical descriptions that physicians did at this date.
Key words. Lethargia. Parkisonism. Sleep disorders. Von Economo.