Brain Diseases – Meningitis Overview
Infections are responsible for the inflammation of the brain. These infections can be parasitic or fungal but bacteria and viral infections are more common. Inflammation will depend of the infected region.
Common cases include spinal cord inflammation (myelitis), inflammation of the meninges (meningitis) and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). When the brain swells, it pushes against the skull causing damage.
Meningitis. This affects the 3 layered membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation of the meninges causes pressure on the nerves. Some of the initial symptoms of the brain disease include severe headaches, confusion and fever. It is usually caused by physical injury to the head making it susceptible to infections. Other causes of meningitis include fungal infections, bacterial infections, viral infections, chemical irritations, allergies to drugs and tumors.
Viral meningitis. Adults will experience vomiting, nausea, stiff neck, photo phobia and severe head aches while children will experience fever and become irritable. Shared symptoms include loss of appetite, long sleeping hours and fever. After treatment of the symptoms, recovery is full without complications. Other than treatment, a lot of bed rest is highly recommended. Viral meningitis is the most common meningitis. Transmission of this kind of brain disease can be through direct contact with respiratory secretions or the stool of an infected person.
Bacterial meningitis. It causes deafness, irreversible brain damage and learning disability. The infection usually originates from the upper respiratory tract moves with the blood system to the brain to cause brain damage. Bacterial meningitis can also be spread from one person to another through contact with infected respiratory and or throat secretions. The brain disease is more serious as it can cause death. Bacterial infection is the second most common cause of meningitis. It is also more dangerous so early diagnosis and treatment is very important. Older folks have higher chances if death from this kind of meningitis but appropriate antibiotic medication can reduce this risk. Treatment also differs with the kind of bacterial infection.
However, both viral and bacterial infections will produce symptoms such as a stiff neck, fever and body aches. Severe inflammation of the meningitis can also cause strokes and seizures.
It is important to see a doctor on the onset of the symptoms of the brain disease so as to determine whether it is a viral or bacterial infection. This is because treatment differs with the kind of infection and the region.