Overview of neuro infectious diseases
Neuro infectious diseases affect the nervous system, from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and nerves.
There is a wide range of neuroinfectious diseases, including:
- Meningitis and encephalitis, in which inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord caused by bacterial or viral infection may lead to disability or death.
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a viral infection that can lead to loss of coordination, language ability and memory.
- HIV-associated neurodegeneration, dementia induced by HIV infection despite successful antiretroviral therapy.
- Neurosarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease of the nervous system marked by facial weakness and headache that may lead to a chronic condition.
- HTLV 1 myelopathy hereditary spastic paraparesis, a progressive disease of the spinal cord resulting in painfully stiff, weak legs.
- Transverse myelitis, an inflammation of both sides of the spinal cord that can cause pain, weakness, paralysis, sensory problems, or bladder and bowel dysfunction.
Treatments for these diseases may include antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, or anticonvulsant medications, among other approaches.
Treatments in this area are complex and evolving. There are currently no cures.
Types of neuro infectious diseases
The most common neurological infections are:
- Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be caused by bacteria or viruses.
- Meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord, which can be caused by bacteria or viruses.
- HIV, a viral infection that causes AIDS and slowly destroys the body’s immune system.
Other neurological infections include:
- Yeast infections
- Parasitic infections
- Prion diseases
- Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease, tuberculosis, syphilis
- Brain abscess
Symptoms of neuro infectious diseases
Pain, swelling, redness, impaired function, and fever are hallmarks of an infection. There may also be heat at the place of the infected area. With some viral infections, drowsiness, confusion, and seizures can occur.
Treatment for neuro infectious diseases
Neurologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center have extensive experience treating a variety of neurological infections. As a tertiary medicinal centre, the Department of Neurology receives many multifaceted neurological referrals.
Each case of neurological disease and infection requires the expertise of experienced neurologists and highly trained medical professionals from numerous specialities. These professionals collectively decide on a course of treatment for each patient after considering all aspects of the patient’s condition.