The history of the Japanese Society for Neuro-infectious Diseases: Foundation, objectives, and legacy

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Publications

Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2024 May 31;13(2):129-132. doi: 10.5582/irdr.2024.01008.


The Japanese Research Group for Neuro-infectious Diseases was founded in August 1996, and by 2004 it had evolved into the Japanese Society for Neuro-infectious Diseases. The Society focuses on neuroinfectious conditions (e.g., encephalitis/encephalopathy, myelitis, and meningitis), providing a venue for academic presentations and exchanges. Clinical guidelines for major neurological infectious diseases are also published by the Society, in order to meet the social demands of each era. Although the threat of herpes simplex encephalitis has declined due to acyclovir’s introduction, the frequency of encephalitis or peripheral neuropathy caused by varicella-zoster virus is increasing. In Japan, prion disease, human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (HTLV-1)-associated myelopathy (HAM), subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) are designated as intractable diseases. The incidence of prion disease is 1.8/1,000,000 individuals, with the sporadic type accounting for 80%. Prion disease is fatal, and effective medications are awaited. HAM’s prevalence is ~3/100,000 individuals, with a male-to-female ratio of 1:2-3. HAM is common in western Japan, including Kyushu and Okinawa. The prevalence of PML is rising with the spread of both immunosuppressive therapy for transplantation and treatment for multiple sclerosis. From late 2019 through 2020, the world faced a global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to virus mutations, and the threat of new mutations persists. Close attention should be paid to the emergence of new neurological infections that could arise from abnormal weather patterns and/or a decline in immune function due to aging.

PMID:38836177 | PMC:PMC11145406 | DOI:10.5582/irdr.2024.01008

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