Medical Problems: Introduction To Encephalitis

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can be caused in numerous ways. The severity varies, from small signs like a headache to serious ones like seizures.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can be caused in several different ways.Some of the possible causes include bacterial infections, meningitis, and even childhood illness.The symptoms of encephalitis are usually very mild, and so many cases go untreated.The worse the case of encephalitis, the more noticeable the symptoms become.Treatment includes administration of antiviral medications and corticosteroids.

One of the causes of encephalitis, although rare, is the herpes simplex virus.Herpes simplex virus causes cold sores, and while the cold sores are usually found on and about the mouth and genital areas, they can attack the brain as well.When herpes simplex attacks the brain with encephalitis, the situation becomes extremely dangerous, and even fatal in about a quarter of the cases of encephalitis that are caused this way.Insects are also reportedly the cause of some encephalitis transmission.Mosquitoes, for example, are capable of transmitting encephalitis through a bite.Meningitis, a bacterial infection, can lead to encephalitis, as can other afflictions that cause an inflammation of the brain.Other causes include measles, chicken pox, HIV, mumps, polio, and other similar sicknesses.

It can be difficult for someone who is exhibiting symptoms of encephalitis to be sure that these are not symptoms of something else.One thing to note is that in many instances, symptoms will rapidly intensify over the course of just a few hours even.Symptoms can include fever, headache, chronic fatigue, vomiting and upset stomach, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and even such severe symptoms as seizures and delirium.Noticeably, these symptoms are not very distinctive to encephalitis, and they can certainly be experienced in response to a far less serious condition.For this reason, many people go untreated.It is best to air on the side of caution if you experience these symptoms, particularly if you have or have recently had an illness or infection of any kind.


Much of the diagnosis of encephalitis has to do with eliminating other possible causes for your symptoms and evaluating your risk level for the inflammation.If you are suspected of having encephalitis, you may be asked to submit to blood tests, a brain biopsy, MRI scans, or even a spinal tap.Some of these measures may seem drastic when compared to your existing symptoms, but it is crucial that if you have encephalitis, you know about it so that you can treat it quickly.

Antibiotics are used for treating bacterial strains of encephalitis, but viral encephalitis is treated with antiviral drugs.In the majority of cases, and in almost all childhood cases, hospitalization is required.If the condition is detected and treated quickly, then there is a good chance that there will not be any permanent neurological damage done as a result of the brain inflammation.However, serious cases and cases that were not treated in a timely manner can result in serious and permanent damage, or even death.One of the possible outcomes could be permanent memory loss.Other possible latent effects include personality problems, language and speech difficulty, seizures, and even paralysis.

© High Speed Ventures 2011