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An Indiana woman's battle, living with a rare form of meningitis

Mollaret's meningitis keeps coming back
Posted at 11:26 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 23:26:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana woman is living and coping with a rare form of meningitis for which there is no cure.

Ann Hyde has Mollaret's Meningitis—a chronic form of meningitis that is recurrent and usually resolves itself on its own over time.

"I've had meningitis since 2003. It wasn't until 2015 that someone put two and two together," said Hyde. "I've had it every year, two times a year, since 2003."

"it's typically caused by a number of viruses, but commonly herpes viruses," said Dr. Cole Beeler, an IU Health infectious disease specialist. "It's an infection of the lining around the brain, not the brain itself."

Beeler says the episodes Hyde experiences are relapses. "Half the patients can actually get seizures, blindness, temporary nerve problems when these infections take place."

For Hyde, the episodes have a direct effect on her quality of life. She hasn't been able to hold a job since 2017 and has to rely on her mother for care. "It doesn't seem fair that my mom is taking care of me and me not her."

Medical experts say there needs to be more data gathered on Mollaret's meningitis, and that includes doing trials to figure out treatments."

Currently, doctors typically prescribe anti-virals to help patients cope. but there's no real treatment. Doctor Beeler hopes more research will bring better approaches to treating the disease.