Encephalitis Definition : What Is Encephalitis? - Health Article

Encephalitis Definition : What Is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue. The cause of inflammation of the brain may be a virus or a reaction of the immune system to an inoculation or infectious disease. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an illness that can develop after a tick bite and is caused by a flavivirus. In some cases, it is a complication of chickenpox, mumps, rubella or measles. In rare cases, it may be a result of syphilis.

Encephalitis is different from meningitis (meningitis). Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective layers of the brains. Often people have both meningitis and encephalitis; This is known as meningoencephalitis.

 Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue Encephalitis Definition : What Is Encephalitis?

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, tremors, stiff neck, fever, severe headache, but also paralysis and seizures occur. To make an accurate diagnosis will be blood tests and a lumbar puncture should be done. Often there will be also done a MRI or CT scan. Untreated can encephalitis within a few hours lead to death.

Nerve cells can be damaged or destroyed by the infection, the immune response, and by the pressure as a result of the inflammation. Damage sustained by encephalitis is called acquired brain injury. Although it is very likely that encephalitis causes damage, this is usually on a small scale and this results in very slight disorders. Most people recover completely, in other cases, the damage is more extensive, and this leads to significant limitations.

There is a wide variation in how encephalitis affects the person on the long term. Fatigue, recurring headaches, problems with memory, concentration and balance are often reported, as well as mood swings, aggression and clumsiness. In some cases, epilepsy can also occur. Physical problems may include weakness and loss of control of bodily functions and movement. Speech and language problems are common features and the speed of reaction and thinking can be reduced. (See also postencephalitic syndrome)

A special variant of encephalitis is the light-infectious encephalitis lethargica sleeping sickness which forces the patients in an eternal subcoma, with strong traits of the Parkinson's disease. The last epidemic was raging in the Thirties. Some patients who were affected by a child now reside as elderly still in a subcoma. In the late sixties experimented New York neurologist Oliver Sacks on this previously hopeless coma patients with drug treatment of L-DOPA, but with amazing sometimes disastrous consequences. This was documented in the film Awakenings with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams in the lead roles.

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