Neurologic disease due to HTLV-1 infection

Robert R. McKendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) was the first human retrovirus discovered when it was linked to an unusual T-cell lymphoma in 1980. It was later linked to a number of other diseases, particularly neurologic ones. These include encephalomyelitis, myelopathy, polymyositis, inclusion body myositis, peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like disease, and uveitis. This chapter will provide an overview of the virus discovery, the epidemiology of HTLV-1 infection, basic virology, and basic aspects of the immunologic response to the infection. It will briefly discuss features of adult T-cell leukemia and aspects of its pathogenesis. The primary focus of the chapter is the neurologic diseases associated with HTLV-1. It will discuss clinical features, diagnosis, imaging, laboratory features, electroencephalogram and evoked potential studies, attempted treatment strategies, and prevention measures. In addition many aspects of pathogenesis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-530
Number of pages24
JournalHandbook of Clinical Neurology
StatePublished - 2014


  • Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like disease
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • HTLV-1 myelopathy
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Inflammatory myopathy
  • Pathogenesis of HTLV-1 myelopathy
  • Polymyositis
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Tropical spastic paraparesis
  • Uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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