Herpesvirus infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, including long-term neurologic sequelae. Among the family of herpesviruses, the most significant CNS infections are due to herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). The onset of HSV CNS infection can occur in neonates as well as older children and adults. CNS infection associated with CMV occurs predominantly in the perinatal period, but may also be seen rarely in children and adults, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Although advances in antiviral agents have led to improved outcomes, there is still a need for more effective treatments. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.