Hurst’s disease/Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHLE)



AHLE, or Hurst’s disease, is a severe subtype of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) characterized by a rapidly progressive inflammation of the myelin sheath (the protective covering of nerves).

Common Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms, fatigue, fever, nausea, neck stiffness, headache, vomiting; seizures, and coma (less frequent).

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Although case studies have identified patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and novel influenza AH1N1 as being prone to developing AHLE, further research needs to be conducted to confirm these associations.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

Unlike ADEM, AHLE is much more common in adults than children. The presence of flu-like symptoms also leads researchers to hypothesize that the cause is viral or bacterial pathogens. In addition, respiratory tract infections may precede AHLE.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2021, from

    2. Grzonka, P., Scholz, M. C., De Marchis, G. M., Tisljar, K., Rüegg, S., Marsch, S., Fladt, J., & Sutter, R. (2020). Acute Hemorrhagic Leukoencephalitis: A Case and Systematic Review of the Literature. Frontiers in Neurology, 11, 899.

    3. Yildiz, Ö., Pul, R., Raab, P., Hartmann, C., Skripuletz, T., & Stangel, M. (2015). Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (Weston-Hurst syndrome) in a patient with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 12, 175.