Nervous System Disorders: Meningitis
posted by Neurology | May 9, 2017
Meningitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. These membranes, called meninges, can be infected through viral, bacterial or fungal sources, and can lead to serious symptoms and complications.
Some cases improve without treatment, but others are life-threatening and require immediate attention.
Each type of meningitis is defined by the infection that caused it:
Each form of the condition is caused by a different factor. Bacterial meningitis, for example can be caused by a few different bacteria:
The causes of other forms of meningitis include:
Risk factors include:
In newborns, there are a few specific signs:
If any of these severe symptoms are present in you or a family member, especially fever, vomiting, confusion or a stiff neck, seek immediate medical attention.
Quick treatment is vital, and can lead to a good recovery even for severe cases. The longer you go without it, the greater the risk of several neurological complications:
Treatment depends on the type:
Preventing the risk of meningitis is possible through the proper hygiene and cleanliness practices and vaccinations. These methods are all meant to stop the contagious spread of the disease.
If you or a family member has symptoms, seek immediate medical attention and speak to your doctor about treatment options to reduce symptoms and risk of long-term complications.
“Meningitis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/
“Meningitis.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/home/ovc-20169520
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.