Brain Encephalitis: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment Methods


Inflammation of the brain is accompanied by the destruction of nerve tissue and impaired functioning of the . Brain encephalitis is usually infectious. The disease manifests itself either as a result of a previous illness. Recovery depends on the timeliness of seeking medical care.

Characteristics and causes of pathology

The concept includes a number of inflammatory diseases of the brain. of the brain develops as a result of the penetration of the pathogen into the human body or due to allergic phenomena. The main cause of the disease is neuroinfection.

Microbes and viruses interfere with the activity of nerve fibers, neurons and blood vessels, adversely affecting the functioning of the nervous system. Signs of intoxication manifest, the membrane and parts of the brain are affected.

Depending on the affected area, meningitis and encephalitis are isolated. Meningitis is accompanied by inflammation of the cerebral cortex, which develops as a result of hypothermia, penetration of fungi, viruses, bacteria. Encephalitis is a serious condition in which the brain inflames. The disease is characterized by severe course and high mortality.

Encephalitis is primary and secondary. The source of infection in the primary form is usually insects. An infected individual bites a person, then the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs. This form is manifested as a result of the rabies virus (from the bite of an infected dog), herpes, flu, and Coxsackie. Microbial encephalitis is formed as a result of, for example, syphilis.

Based on the causes of the primary form of the disease, epidemic, tick-borne, herpetic, mosquito, viral encephalitis is isolated.

Vaccination DPT, smallpox and rabies vaccines can cause the development of encephalitis.

Since vaccination can cause brain pathology in infants, a thorough examination of the newborn by a pediatrician and a neurologist is necessary.

Secondary encephalitis is formed as a complication of another disease: toxoplasmosis, malaria, measles, rubella. You can become infected by airborne droplets or by eating infected food.

Risk factors

There are several factors that increase the risk of pathology:

  • children up to 1 year olds;
  • the presence of herpes simplex virus;
  • reduced immune status;
  • summer-autumn period, when insect vectors of neuroinfection are most active.

Based on the location of the pathogen, subcortical, cerebellar, mesencephalic, stem encephalitis is isolated.

Types of illness

Each type of pathology is characterized by certain signs and a special course of the pathological process.


Another name is lethargic. It is diagnosed in both and adults. Symptomatology is manifested in a sharp increase in temperature, intense headaches, pain of articular tissue.

The patient has confusion, delusions, hallucinations. Squint, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating is added later.


The frequency of detection of this type increases in spring and summer, when the most active infected ticks. The causative agent of the disease is transmitted through the bite of an encephalitic tick.

When ingested, the infection enters the brain through the bloodstream. A person begins to be afraid of bright light, pain in his head increases, vomiting develops. Numbness of the limbs occurs, muscle structures are paralyzed.


Another name for the species is Japanese. Infected mosquitoes are carriers of the virus. The disease is accompanied by high body temperature, vomiting, confusion. Fixed tremor of the limbs, convulsive seizures. The species is characterized by a high mortality rate.


It develops as a complication of influenza. Manifested by nausea, pain in the head, weight loss, weakness. The disease often puts the victim into a coma.


Since measles is a childhood disease, this type of encephalitis is inherent in children. Inflammation of the brain begins to develop several days after measles.

The patient becomes weaker, fever is manifested, and epilepsy is disturbed. The disease damages the nerves of the skull, causing paralysis, myelitis.

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Progresses due to varicella zoster. The disease is more often diagnosed in childhood. The child weakens, becomes drowsy. Coordination of movements is gradually disturbed, paralysis of the arms and legs, epileptic seizures develop.


The herpes virus infects the cerebral cortex. This species progresses slowly, leading to a disturbance of consciousness, an excruciating headache, and chaotic movements of the limbs.

Brain Encephalitis: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment Methods

Signs of disease

The symptoms of encephalitis are differentiated according to the causative agent and its location. Allocate and common manifestations of pathology. Like other , encephalitis affects the increase in body temperature, indigestion, disorders in the organs of the respiratory tract.

Manifests vomiting, photophobia, epilepsy, headache. Patients have impaired consciousness, a person may fall into a coma. There are problems with psychomotor and sensory perception of reality: physical hyperactivity, incorrect understanding of the parameters and forms of objects.

Encephalitis may be asymptomatic, lightning fast or abortive. Asymptomatic flow is accompanied by a slight pain in the head, slight dizziness. Abortive forms cause symptoms of colds or gastric infections.

The most dangerous form is fulminant, which progresses in a few hours. The temperature rises sharply, the person falls into a coma. Fatalities are recorded as a result of heart failure.

Possible complications

Inflammation of the brain in mild form passes without significant complications. The treatment of a severe disease can last for several years. The consequences of brain encephalitis do not develop in all people, they depend on the individual characteristics of the organism.

The most dangerous situation is when the patient does not feel painful symptoms, and the virus spreads through the structure of the brain. In this case, develop irreversible complications:

  • chronic fatigue;
  • personality changes;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • amnesia, which eventually leads to problems with short-term memory;
  • disruption of motor activity;
  • mental disorders;
  • loss of susceptibility.

Degenerative processes in brain structures lead to disability, death.

Diagnostic methods

The dominant method of diagnosis – puncture, during which a specialist produces a spinal fluid sampling (CSF). Biological material is being studied, it reveals lymphocytic pleocytosis, protein concentration.

In the analysis of blood, a high number of leukocytes is detected, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate increases. Fixed epileptic activity. During magnetic resonance imaging, pathological changes in the brain are recorded. In the study of the fundus determined by the stagnation of the optic nerve.

The disease is diagnosed based on the results obtained during bacteriological and serological tests. Virological identification is very difficult.


If painful symptoms are detected, an ambulance team is urgently needed. The patient is placed in the infectious disease ward. The outcome of treatment depends on the speed of treatment. Often, the patient requires the help of a resuscitator.

Treatment of encephalitis includes etiotropic, pathogenetic and symptomatic methods.

Etiotropic treatment

Eliminates the causes of inflammation of the brain, one of which is the penetration of the infectious agent. To eliminate the infection using antibacterial drugs, antiviral agents and human immunoglobulin, which is necessary for tick-borne encephalitis.

Antibiotics are used for bacterial character encephalitis and are administered intravenously. Among the antiviral drugs emit Acyclovir, Cycloferon, Viferon, Proteflazid.

Pathogenetic treatment

Based on the use of medications that restore damaged brain structures. These drugs include:

  • hormonal agents;
  • antiedematous drugs – Mannitol, Diacarb, Furosemide;
  • antihistamine medicines – Suprastin, Loratadin, Zodak, Tavegil;
  • infusions that correct metabolic processes – Dextran, Trisol, potassium;
  • angioprotectors – Kavinton, Instenon;
  • antihypoxic drugs – Cytochrome, Mexidol, Actovegin;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs – Ksefokam, Nurofen.

Vitamin preparations, agents that correct the work of the heart and respiratory tract organs are administered to the patient.

Symptomatic treatment

Eliminates the manifestations of individual symptoms resulting from encephalitis. Doctors prescribe anticonvulsant, antipyretic, antipsychotic drugs. Reception of the means activating work of the neuromuscular device (Neyromidin) and reducing muscle tone (Sirdalud) is necessary.

Note! Attacks of epilepsy can stay with a person forever, which requires the use of anticonvulsants for the rest of his life.

The victim is shown physiotherapeutic measures: massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, electrical stimulation. The patient should deal with a psychotherapist, speech therapist.

At the initial stage, encephalitis does not manifest characteristic symptoms, the symptoms are similar to a cold. Therefore, a person visits a doctor late when the brain cells are already destroyed. Emergency medical care can save the patient.

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