Toxoplasmic Encephalitis in the AIDS Patient


  • Noreen Mocsny MEd RN

    Staff Nurse, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Noreen Mocsny is a staff nurse in the neurology unit at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cincinnati and is a former infection control nurse.

707 Park Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45246.


Toxoplasmic encephalitis is recognized as a major cause of opportunistic infection of the central nervous system in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Often this protozoal infection is benign, but in the AIDS patient it can cause life-threatening complications. Usually, toxoplasmic encephalitis is a latent infection activated in the brain in some 5% to 15% of AIDS patients. Treatment with oral antibiotics is effective, but relapse is common, and there may be permanent brain tissue damage with resultant neurological deficits. This article acquaints the rehabilitation nurse with the diagnosis and acute nursing care of toxoplasmic encephalitis. Rehabilitation nurses need to know about this chronic condition because rehabilitation is key to its successful long-term care and management.