Brain Infection Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Brain Infections

The brain is most commonly infected by a bacteria or virus. But parasites and fungi can get into your head as well. Brain infection types are encephalitis, meningitis and brain abscess.

Encephalitis is the med term typically used to indicate the brain itself is infected, although it literally means brain inflammation. Meningitis denotes the membrane surrounding your brain and spinal cord is inflamed or infected. And a brain abscess is a collection of material in your brain, usually from an infection.

An infection of the brain is rare and when it does occur it’s usually caused by a virus. When bacteria infects the region it more commonly infects the brain’s surrounding membrane, causing bacterial meningitis.

A virus is a much more frequent invader of the brain’s membrane as well. But when bacteria are involved in a brain infection, it is a very serious health condition. Permanent brain damage and even death are possible.

Brain infection symptoms will vary based upon the type of infection. But generally, symptoms may involve:

A viral brain infection tends to cause flu like symptoms.

A severe bacterial brain infection can cause really serious symptoms, like:

A virus that causes a brain infection can be spread via respiratory droplets, contaminated food or drink, insect bites or skin contact. Whereas bacteria causing a brain infection are not so highly contagious.

Some of the viral infectious diseases that can cause a brain infection are:

HIV can infect the brain and cause what is known as AIDS dementia, featuring slow progressing brain impairment symptoms.

Although most types of brain infections are caused by viruses, these bacterial related health conditions can potentially infect your brain:

The most common bacteria that causes an infection within the brain’s membrane are:

A brain infection can also be caused by a parasite and fungi. Some health conditions that might make its way into your brain are:

A brain abscess is often a complication of a chronic sinus infection, ear infections, a lung abscess or pneumonia. Yet, this type of brain infection may also arise after some sort of head trauma. And treatment of an abscess frequently requires drainage.

As for treatment of brain infections caused by a bacteria, initially a broad range antibiotic will likely be given intravenously until the type of bacteria is determined. Other treatments that may be administered with this form of brain infection include:

In general, brain infections caused by a virus won’t require any specific treatment since they’ll subside on their own without complication. Unless herpes is the cause of infection in your brain, then an antiviral drug may be prescribed.