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Neuroscience

Neuroinfectious Diseases

Neuroinfectious diseases are infections of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. There are many different types of neuroinfectious diseases. Some of the neuroinfectious diseases are Neurosarcoidois, Transverse Myelitis, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, and more.

Introduction

Neuroinfectious diseases result when the body’s immune system is weak to fight off pathogens or germs. These diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. There are many of these infections that can affect the nervous system. Some of the most common symptoms are pain, swelling, redness, impaired functions, etc. These infections can be usually treated by doctors who are trained in infectious diseases. Some of the common neuroinfectious diseases are Encephalitis, Meningitis, and Transverse myelitis.

Encephalitis

Encephalitis is an infection of the brain, which can either be caused by bacteria or virus. The most common cause of encephalitis is by a viral infection. Some of the viruses that cause encephalitis are enteroviruses, tick-borne viruses, herpes simplex virus, etc. The 2 kinds of encephalitis are primary encephalitis and secondary encephalitis. Primary encephalitis is when the virus infects the brain. Secondary encephalitis results from damaged immune system reaction somewhere else in the body, and this causes the immune system to attack healthy cells in the brain. The common symptoms of encephalitis are headache, fever, aches in muscles or joints, and fatigue or weakness. Some more severe symptoms of encephalitis are hallucinations, loss of sensation, seizures, loss of consciousness, and problems with speech or hearing. Factors that might increase the risk of encephalitis include age, weakened immune system, geographical regions, and season of the year. There are some ways you could prevent viral encephalitis. Practicing good hygiene such as washing hands with soap regularly and not sharing food utensils are some ways to prevent encephalitis.  

Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection where the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. Meningitis is commonly caused by viral infection but some other causes include bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections. The common symptoms of meningitis are stiff neck, sensitivity to light, no appetite or thirst, skin rash, and sudden high fever. Treating meningitis depends on what type of meningitis.  Antibiotics that are directly injected to the vein are used to treat bacterial meningitis. Sometimes doctors will suggest a broad-spectrum antibiotic until they know the exact cause of meningitis.

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis is when both sides of one section of the spinal cord become inflamed. This neuroinfectious disease cuts off the messages the spinal cord sends throughout the body. Some of the causes of transverse myelitis are infections, immune system disorders, and myelin disorders. Some of the common symptoms of transverse myelitis are pain in lower back, abnormal sensations, and weakness in arms or legs. 

Nitin Beeram, Youth Medical Journal 2021

References

Encephalitis—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/encephalitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20356136

Meningitis—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350508

 Neuroinfectious diseases. (n.d.). American Brain Foundation. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/diseases/neuroinfectious-diseases/

Neurological infections. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.umms.org:443/ummc/health-services/neurology/services/neurological-infections

Transverse myelitis—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/transverse-myelitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354726

By Nitin Beeram

Hello, my name is Nitin Beeram. I am currently a sophomore in high school. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing video games, reading, books, and watching tv shows. I am really passionate about science. I am interested in the fields of neurology and cardiology.

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