Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare but serious progressive inflammatory disease of children and young adults characterized by the persistent infection of the brain by the measles virus. It usually develops 6 and 12 years after a natural measles infection and in some cases following with measles vaccine. The incidence is about 1 per million with males more commonly affected. Mortality is very high and those who survive do so with considerable intellectual and physical impairment. Despite much research into SSPE, its pathology remains obscure. The Philippine SSPE Study Group has as its members leading pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons and geneticists. One of its research goals is to find a cure or effective treatment for SSPE. Candidate genes suggested to play a role in the establishment of persistent viral infection in the central nervous system are presently being studied in Filipino patients.