Encephalitis (inflammation Of The Brain)

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Encephalitis (inflammation Of The Brain)
Encephalitis (inflammation Of The Brain)
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Video: Encephalitis (“Brain Inflammation”) Signs and Symptoms (& Why They Occur) 2023, February
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Encephalitis

Encephalitis causes inflammation of the brain (brain tissue). The meninges or the membranes of the spinal cord may also be affected. One then speaks of meningoencephalitis. In the course of this, the inflammation spreads from the meninges to the brain. The inflammation can affect different areas of the brain. It can occur acutely or chronically and be caused, for example, by infections with viruses or bacteria.

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What are the causes of encephalitis?

Encephalitis can result from:

  • spreading meningitis,
  • Pathogens are, for example, viruses (eg herpes simplex viruses, enteroviruses, arboviruses - early summer meningoencephalitis / tick encephalitis, rhabdoviruses - rabies), or
  • Bacteria (e.g. staphylococci, listeria, mycoplasma, borrelia, in Chlamydia pneumoniae infections, in the context of tuberculosis or syphilis),
  • Fungal diseases (mycoses), worm diseases,
  • during or after inflammation (e.g. as a result of an infection),
  • with systemic inflammatory or immunological diseases (e.g. sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus).

Chronic encephalitis can occur, for example, with HIV infection or with immunosuppression.

What are the symptoms?

Possible symptoms of encephalitis are:

  • Headache,
  • Impaired consciousness, drowsiness,
  • Fever,
  • neurological and psychiatric symptoms, such as personality changes, cognitive changes, confusion, somnolence or coma, hallucinations, language disorders, disorders of the coordination of movement sequences, involuntary movements, epileptic seizures, paralysis),
  • general symptoms of an infection (e.g. fatigue, tiredness).

In addition, for example, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, vomiting and opisthotonus (spasmodic bending of the head, overstretching of the trunk) can occur in meningoencephalitis.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis is made by:

  • physical and neurological examination,
  • Lumbar puncture and examination of the CSF (examination for germs and inflammatory cells),
  • MRI / CT,
  • EEG.

A brain biopsy (surgery to remove tissue) may be considered in certain circumstances. Further research may be necessary.

Certain infections must be reported. Information can be found on the BMSGPK website.

There are vaccinations against some pathogens, for example TBE vaccination ("tick vaccination" - only effective against TBE, but not effective against Lyme disease).

How is the treatment carried out?

Inpatient treatment is usually required. Intensive care monitoring may be necessary, especially in the initial phase. Depending on the spectrum of pathogens, antibiotic or virostatic therapy is required.

More information about the treatment of

  • TBE
  • Lyme disease
  • HIV
  • syphilis
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • rabies
  • tuberculosis

Whom can I ask?

It is important to act quickly, to clarify suspicious complaints quickly and to start therapy immediately! Depending on the state of health, the family doctor or the emergency medical service can be contacted via 141. In the event of pronounced complaints such as severe pain, high fever, cramps, severe vomiting, changes in consciousness or loss of consciousness, etc., the emergency doctor must be called immediately (144 or 112)!

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Rehabilitation & cure
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ

and via the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

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