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Case report
Transient mutism, pathological laughter and cerebellar ataxia after primary varicella-zoster virus infection
  1. Teresa Brito1,
  2. Inês Oliveira1,
  3. Laurinda Silva2 and
  4. Susana Parente1
  1. 1 Pediatrics Department, Hospital de São Bernardo, Setubal, Portugal
  2. 2 General Practice Department, Unidade de Saúde Familiar Luísa Todi, Setúbal, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Inês Oliveira; inesfigueiredoliveira{at}


Acute postinfectious cerebellitis is characterised by inflammatory involvement of the cerebellum and consequent cerebellar dysfunction, usually presenting a benign and self-limited course. Common symptoms described in the literature include ataxia, peripheral facial paralysis, aphasia, spinal dysfunction and eventually hydrocephalus. We describe a rare presentation of acute cerebellitis after varicella, in a 6-year-old child, who presented with ataxia, dysmetria, mutism and pathological laughter.

  • Paediatrics
  • Infection (neurology)
  • Neurology
  • Infectious diseases

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  • Contributors TB helped in the data acquisition and interpretation, writing and approval of the manuscript. IO helped in the data interpretation, revision, submission and approval of the manuscript. LS helped in the data acquisition, revision and approval of the manuscript. SP helped in the revision and approval of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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