Inflammation of brain.
· Commonly diagnosed cause is viral infection
· Bacteria , fungi and parasites
· Common viral causes of encephalitis include Herpes simplex virus , epstein barr virus, varicella zoster virus , enteroviruses, arboviruses Arthropod borne viruses, tick borne viruses and rabies viruses
Types of encephalitis
- · Infectious encephalitis: viral encephalitis may develop during or after infection with any of several viral illnesses including influenza, herpes simplex, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, and chickenpox.
- Post infectious encephalitis: this can occur many days, weeks, or sometimes months after the initial infection e.g. Previous infection/vaccine.
- Autoimmune encephalitis
- Japanese encephalitis: is a viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes. The condition occurs throughout south asia, the far east and pacific islands.
- Chronic encephalitis: the inflammation develops slowly over many months; it can be a result of a condition such as HIV
· It begins with flu like symptoms
· High temperature
· Severe headache
· Nausea and vomiting
· After initial stage , more severe symptoms develop
· Changes in mental state- confusion, drowsiness/ disorientation
· Loss of consciousness
· CT and MRI scan
· Brain biopsy
· Culture of CSF, blood.
· Lumbar puncture and CSF examination
· Serology tests (test that detect antibodies to a virus)
· The goals of treatment are to provide supportive care (rest, nutrition , fluids) to help the body to fight infection and to relieve symptoms
· Reorientation and emotional support for confused or delirious people may be helpful
· Anti-inflammatory drugs — such as acetaminophen, ibrufen are administered to relieve headache and fever.
· Antiviral medications — acyclovir — to treat herpes encephalitis or other severe viral infections
· Autoimmune encephalitis — can be treated with corticosteroids , immunoglobulin therapy and plasmapheresis
· Cyclosporine is a widely used immunosuppressant in the treatment of autoimmune encephalitis
· Breathing assistance
· Intravenous fluids
· Anti inflammatory drugs — corticosteroids , help to reduce swelling and pressure within the skull
· Anticonvulsant — such as phenytoin to stop or prevent seizures.