Infection of the nervous system: symptoms and treatment

Human nervous system

Because infectious diseases affecting the nervous system, quite a lot, it set up a classification to recognize them. There are the following classifications:

  • according to the type of pathogen (bacterial, viral, fungal diseases),
  • by way of introduction of the infection into the body (via a wound, blood, lymph, air-borne path, etc.).

Infectious diseases of the nervous system: meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis.


Serious disease that causes inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. This disease also has its own classification:

  • the type of education the inflammatory process distinguish meningitis: serous and purulent,
  • to prevent the development of generalized and organicheskie,
  • depending on the severity of the disease,
  • depending on causative agents: viral, fungal, bacterial.

In infants meningitis mainly arise from streptococci, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli, from babies up to a year Haemophilus influenzae, preschool and adolescent children, the main causative agent is the meningococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, people after 45 years meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumonia Streptococcus.

The infection enters the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract with formation of purulent tonsillitis, pharyngitis, dysfunction of the stomach and intestines, and the further spread of microorganisms through the lymph or the blood stream, which carry them in a sheath of the brain.

This transfer of bacteria is causing the pasty and the inflammatory process in the meninges. Occurs excessive formation of cerebrospinal fluid and its accumulation occurs because of the violation of resorption – this creates increased pressure inside the brain and forms the hydrocephalus. The meninges and the cranial, spinal nerves become irritated. As a result, developing intoxication.

If the meningitis is bacterial in nature, there is a loss of the cranial meninges in the form of purulent inflammation, expanding blood vessels and capillaries, accumulation of pus in the veins that can lead to their blockage. Through the time damage is observed, intoxication and vascular changes in the large hemispheres, which lead to softening of tissue and numerous purulent inflammation.

In the cavity between the meninges accumulate a greenish-yellow purulent fluid, which can be distributed either to the entire surface of the brain, or only to furrow. If purulent inflammation occurs locally, the inflammation may be limited. There comes a pasty substance and meninges. In the cortical veins, there is an intense filling with blood. In the big hemispheres revealed small changes, the only exception is the cortical perivascular infiltration.

In the shell formation of adhesions, which may form hydrocephalus or obstruction of the space between the spinal meninges. Internal dropsy of the brain marked inflammatory connection between the cerebellum and the brain tank, which does not flow away cerebrospinal fluid.

What are pathogens?

Streptococci of group B

  • Listeria monocytogenes is bacteria that belong to the Streptococcus group B. it looks like a small wand, and belongs to gram-positive bacteria. She can move because she is in the presence of flagella. They are sown perfectly. Their cultivation is suitable neutral or slightly alkaline environment. When microorganisms die, they release into the space of endotoxin. They are resistant to low temperatures, but at high temperatures can for 5 minutes kills. Due to its sustainability in land, water, grain they can be several years. Also a great danger it poses to dairy products. For example, it can actively multiply in milk is in the fridge. Detrimental to them affect disinfectants.
  • E. coli – Escherichia coli belonging to the streptococci group B. They are gram-negative bacteria, which are undemanding and can be cultivated on ordinary nutrient media. Normally, these microorganisms are always present in the intestinal flora. However, in violation bacterial balance comes from the increase in the number, leading to dysbiosis. When the bacteria die, they secrete an enterotoxin, which causes diarrhea and other complications in the body.
  • Haemophilus influenzae (sticks of Pfeiffer) is a small Bacillus round shape, which is toto grow requires the presence in erythrocytes of thermolabile and thermostable Y factor H. They are resistant to lots of antibiotics, and complicated treatment. May spread by airborne droplets and by contact. After recovery, formed a strong immunity to this pathogen.
  • Neisseria meningitidis belongs to the gram-negative bacteria are the causative agents of meningitis. They have a spherical shape and are often arranged in pairs, for this they are called diplococci. Transmitted by airborne droplets, by contact, through household items. The gestation period can reach up to 2 weeks, but most often the period reduced to 5 days. The pathogen enters the bloodstream and from there the blood reaches the meninges, where it causes inflammation. It is resistant to many antibiotics, so you should only use antibiotics for 3 generations.
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae is a spherical gram-positive bacteria. Capable of liquids to form entire colonies. They are able to cause very severe and dangerous disease: sinusitis, otitis, laryngitis, sepsis. If you run very often, they can lead to a lethal outcome. Also they can form chronic respiratory disease, which can often occur in children.
  • To prevent infection, it is necessary to monitor the hygiene of the skin and no contact with sick people.

    What symptoms occur in meningitis?


    Almost all types of meningitis have similar symptoms. However, everywhere there are different and they depend on the causative agent. Finally, to verify the existence of meningitis is only possible if obstipation, cerebral and meningeal syndromes and infectious inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid. If there is only one syndrome, that is no reason to put meningitis. The Dura can irritate different chronic diseases: sarcomatous, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, brucellosis, carcinomatosis.

    Obstipation syndrome has the following symptoms:

    • leukocytosis,
    • shiver,
    • a rash on the skin,
    • increased heart rate,
    • muscle pain,

    Meningeal syndrome:

    • enhanced sound and light sensitivity,
    • the hardening of the muscles of the neck,
    • difficulty bending the limbs,pain in the jaw (symptom spondylitis).
    • pain in the cheekbone (a symptom of spondylitis).
    People with such diseases it is very important to be in a well ventilated area with a minimum amount of light.

    This syndrome is expressed in the appearance of the posture setter: in a human patient in the supine position constantly preloaded foot to the stomach and head much flattened. With this posture reduces tension in the affected meninges. Patients usually lie quietly with eyes closed in a room with little lighting. In newborn babies the Fontanelle bulges and in tension, and is accompanied by a symptom Lesage: when raising the child he involuntarily bent his knees and tightened to the stomach. The elderly meningitis runs extremely sluggish, dizziness, headaches, virtually no symptoms Kerning and Brudzinskogo also missing.

    Cerebral symptoms are accompanied:

    • headache or dizziness,
    • dysfunction of stomach: nausea, vomiting,
    • sometimes, you may experience cramps.

    Headache may be wavy – it occurs due to irritation of the pain receptors that reside in the membranes and vessels of brain due to inflammation, intoxication and increased intracranial pressure.

    Severe headache increases and there comes a feeling of fullness. The pain may be localized in different places, most often it prevails either in the neck or forehead, to give the waves of pain in the cervical and dorsal division, there is a feeling of pain along the whole length of the spine, rarely the pain can go to foot. In the first stage of the disease can be nausea in a period of intense headaches, which is not associated with acceptance of food. In breastfed babies can be supplemented with convulsive syndrome. Also can appear the symptoms of excessive anxiety, brain fog, however, if the disease becomes more severe, then a sick person sleeps a lot, and sometimes can go into a lethargic sleep.

    Patients who have had symptoms of irritation of the meninges, doing a lumbar puncture.

    To determine the bacteria, as a rule, use color on Ziehl-Nielsen, gram, and fluorescers color (if there is a danger of tuberculous meningitis) and immunological methods.

    Also required is the planting of bacteria and determine their susceptibility to antibiotics.

    Purulent meningitis

    Epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis


    The causative agent is meningococcus of Weichselbaum. Transmission occurs either contact or airborne droplets, as well as through household items used by the patient. To the bacteria can get through the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and reach the meninges through the blood. Contagious are not the only people suffering from this disease, but also the carriers of the infection. Most outbreaks of meningitis occur inthe winter-spring period, and sporadic occur all year round.

    The incubation period takes around 4 days. The disease manifests quickly and hard:

    • shivering,
    • severe fever,
    • increase of pain in the head, nausea,
    • prolonged nausea,
    • the brain fog, cramps, the person is virtually unconscious.

    Frequent phenomena are manifested local symptoms: increase of tendon reflexes, lower abdominal muscles, inflammation 3 and 6 cranial nerves (this causes a drooping of the upper eyelid, double vision, strabismus, pupils become different sizes). 3-6 a day on the lips cold sores popping up. Often babies are popping hemorrhagic lesions, which indicates the formation of meningococcemia. The cerebrospinal fluid becomes purulent and due to the high pressure can escape. In the cerebrospinal fluid begin to increase the content of leukocytes, protein, and lowered the amount of chlorides and glucose. In biochemical blood test can also detect the increase of leukocytes, which indicates a viral process in the body and increases the rate of blood sedimentation.

    In addition to the destruction of the meninges, the infection goes also in the medulla.



    From the first days of the manifestation of the man starts, loss of consciousness, paralysis, only if the meningeal syndrome is expressed moderately. There may be:

    • deceptions of hearing and vision (hallucinations),
    • problems with memory and behavior,
    • violation of muscle tone,
    • involuntary movements of muscles,
    • insomnia,
    • a motor skills disorder.

    The prognosis of this disease is difficult, especially when there are symptoms of infection of the cerebral ventricles. The patient usually lies in the pose with bent legs and bent arms. Nerves of the optic disc swelling, increased protein content in cerebrospinal fluid.

    Meningococcal meningitis may be complicated by swelling of the brain and adrenal insufficiency. The main symptoms of cerebral pastoznost in humans are nausea, problems with movement, impaired health of the heart and of the respiratory tract, the increase in pressure.

    As used bacteriological diagnostic methods, examination of cerebrospinal fluid, blood. To separate this disease from other forms of meningococcal is required in a variety of infections, and hemorrhage in Miloshevich shells.

    Secondary purulent meningitis

    The infection gets into the space between the meninges through the blood, lymph and perineural way. The main inflammatory foci are the ears, throat, nose, and complications of pneumonia, pyelonephritis, and other organs. The main symptoms presented above. The consequences can manifest in the form of a blood infection and damage to the nervous system. The kids have marked hydrocephalus. The symptoms are manifested by enlargement of the head, the divergence of the cranial sutures. If this condition becomes chronic, it can be a mental disorder and impaired vision. Treatment must be intensive, and time to identify subdural hemorrhage. After recovery in the form of complications can occur cortical blindness, aphasia, hemiplegia. Serious consequences for themselves may also keep meningocerebral thrombosis and adhesions. If meningitis is in the acute phase, may show signs of epilepsy.

    Previously, the prognosis was very sad and ended it, as a rule, fatal. Today, with a wide variety of antibiotics treatment has become much easier. More than all the therapy using antibiotic penicillin in large doses. Treatment person last depending on how the disease disappears. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks. In addition to antibiotics are prescribed sulfonamides, only in the absence of problems from the gastrointestinal tract. Cerebral pasty can be eliminated if the time to treat the diuretics and corticosteroids. To restore balance use sodium bicarbonate. To cleanse the body lead drip solutions, which connect all the harmful and toxic substances in the blood. If it is a Toxicological shock with adrenal insufficiency, you need a dropper with R-rum sodium chloride + 10% glucose+polyglukin+plasma. The first dose is administered with the addition of hydrocortisone or prednisolone, vitamin C, strophanthin, kordiamin.

    Prevention is the detection of the disease and isolate the sick person. The room in which there was a patient, it is necessary to pattipeilohy. Those people who had contact with the sick person should drink a course of antibiotics (5 days).

    The forecast can be positive only in case of timely help. Despite the wide range of medicines and medical possibilities after recovery, there may be consequences, and it may remain disabled.

    Serous meningitis

    Arise in serous inflammation of the meninges. Classification differences: fungal, bacterial, viral.

    To bacterial meningitis tuberculous meningitis applies. It is formed as a complication of untreated tuberculosis of the lungs or other organs, with inflammation of the meninges.

    If in the treatment of tuberculosis disappear the symptoms of the disease, it does not mean full recovery. Therefore, tothere were no such complications need the full treatment.

    The symptoms last about 14-20 days and expressed:

    • fatigue,
    • headache,
    • loss of appetite,
    • rapid weight loss, strong weight loss,
    • sweating,
    • pale skin,
    • mood swings.

    Slowly with these characteristics are attributed and meningeal symptoms: rigidity of cervical muscles, Kernig symptom, blurred vision, paralysis.

    An accurate diagnosis can be set only by knowing the data about the development of neuralgia, tuberculosis bodies. The main method in the statement of diagnosis is the study of cerebrospinal fluid. Bacteria can be detected in the spider net, which falls after settling. The pressure of the CSF is raised and an increased number of leukocytes and proteins. This study is the most effective in detecting this disease. The amount of glucose and chlorides are greatly reduced. Biochemical blood analysis shows increase of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and leukocytosis.

    Even if this study did not produce positive results, the treatment against tuberculosis is still prescribed.

    Also prescribe treatment with anti-TB drugs: isoniazid, streptomycin, ethambutol. If you want, you can make combination with rifampitsinom.

    Frequent combination, which is used by physicians: PAS dose 12g a day half an hour after eating, and streptomycin, ftivazid at a dose of 40 mg per kg. If tubercular meningitis were installed on time, treatment with corticosteroids and after recovery as prevention is to be treated in a sanatorium.

    If the time to detect the disease, the risk to life, and the consequences will be. If treatment is started late, there may come consequences such as epilepsy, hydrocephalus.