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All about brain abscess causes of brain abscesses symptoms of brain abscess diagnosis of brain abscess treatment for brain abscess

What causes a brain abscess?

Brain abscess (or cerebral abscess) is an abscess caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local (ear infection, infection of paranasal sinuses, infection of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone, epidural abscess) or remote (lung, heart, kidney etc.) infectious sources within the brain tissue. The infection may also be

introduced through a skull fracture following a head trauma or surgical procedures. Brain abscess is usually associated with congenital heart disease in young children. It may occur at any age but is most frequent in the third decade of life.

Although the most common organism causing brain abscess is a bacteria named as Streptococcus, a wide variety of other bacteria (Proteus, Pseudomonas, Pneumococcus, Meningococcus, Haemophilus), fungi and parasites may also cause the disease. Fungi and parasites are especially associated with immunocompromised patients. Organisms that are most frequently associated with brain abscess in patients with AIDS are Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptococcus neoformans, though in infection with the latter organism, symptoms of meningitis generally predominate.

There are three ways a virus or bacteria can enter the body and infect the brain. Infection is spread from another area of infection in the body. This accounts for approximately 20 to 50 percent of brain abscess cases. Infection is spread through the blood stream from the lung or chest area. Viral or bacterial germs enter directly into the brain through an open wound in the head. A person with HIV is more likely to have brain abscesses due to his or her weakened immune system. Brain abscesses expand over time, placing the surrounding brain at risk. If left untreated, the increasing size of the abscess will cause death.

More information on brain abscess

What is a brain abscess? - A brain abscess is an infection in the brain that is encapsulated and localized to one or more areas inside of the brain. A brain abscess is a mass of immune cells, pus, and other material.
What causes a brain abscess? - Brain abscess is an abscess caused by inflammation and collection of infected material coming from local or remote infectious sources within the brain tissue.
What're the symptoms of a brain abscess? - The symptoms of brain abscess are headache, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, hemiparesis or speech difficulties together with fever with a rapidly progressive course.
How is a brain abscess diagnosed? - The diagnosis of brain abscesses is established by a computed tomography (CT) (with contrast) examination.
What's the treatment for a brain abscess? - The treatment for brain abscess includes lowering the increased intracranial pressure and starting intravenous antibiotics.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005