Frontal impairment and confabulation after herpes simplex encephalitis: A case report

Nicoletta Del Grosso Destreri, Elisabetta Farina, Elena Calabrese, Giovanna Pinardi, Emilia Imbornone, Claudio Mariani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the rehabilitation training of a 53-year-old woman with severe confabulatory and dysexecutive syndrome, as well as memory impairment, after herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). Secondary narcolepsy was also present. Neuropsychologic deficits were detailed through an extensive examination, and specific techniques were used to improve performances in each defective cognitive domain. Improvement of vigilance and attention was reached through appropriate and timed periods of rest, along with attentional tasks of growing difficulty. Different external aids were used to reduce temporal disorientation, to contrast confabulation and inertia, and to overcome memory deficits in everyday life. Their independent use by the patient was implemented through cues that were progressively reduced. Treatment also focused on planning, categorization, and topographic orientation. The patient's family gave constant support during rehabilitation and provided informal training after discharge. The patient was able to regain independence in everyday life at home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-426
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Case report
  • Encephalitis
  • Herpes simplex
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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