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When Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week announced there would be a further four weeks before things could “return to normal” there was collective groan by many in the UK. There had been hopes the easing of restrictions would lead to pubs, clubs and restaurants opening without fear of closure and getting on a plane on holiday being as easy as before, without traffic light lists and long quarantine stays.
But for survivors of encephalitis (which can be caused by COVID-19) returning to normal after lockdowns will continue to mean a life of restrictions and the challenges that come with the hidden disability of an acquired brain injury: problems such as epilepsy, fatigue, memory problems and difficulties returning to school or work.
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, a devastating neurological condition. Symptoms of encephalitis vary but can include flu-like illness or headache, drowsiness, uncharacteristic behaviour, inability to speak or control movement, psychiatric manifestations, memory problems and seizures.
Aston spoke to Dr Ava Easton, CEO of Encephalitis Society to discuss Encephalitis Research Month further.