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Encephalitis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is encephalitis?

Encephalitis is characterized as brain inflammation. It is commonly caused by viral infections. The condition triggers symptoms like the ones of flu, for example severe headache or fever. The condition may also cause seizures and confused thinking. Moreover, encephalitis can also cause problems with movement or senses.

Majority cases of encephalitis consequent in mild to no symptoms at all. Severe encephalitis cases can be serious.

What are the symptoms of encephalitis?

Majority individuals with encephalitis tend to have mild to no symptoms at all, such mild symptoms mimic the ones of flu, such as:

  • Weakness or fatigue.
  • Aches in joints or muscles.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.

Severe cases need immediate medical care. Furthermore, additional symptoms of severe cases include:

  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Problems with hearing or speech.
  • Perception of foul odors for example rotten eggs.
  • Double vision.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Confusion.
  • Loss of sensation.

What causes encephalitis?

Often, its actual cause is unknown, however, a commonly diagnosed trigger include a viral infection.

What are the risk factors of encephalitis?

Anyone among us can develop the condition, however few factors that make you more likely to develop encephalitis are:

  • Age: few of its types are more severe and prevalent in specific age groups. On a whole, older adults and children are at a higher risk to develop most of encephalitis types.
  • People with weak immune system due to HIV/AIDS or some other condition that leads a weak or compromised immune system.
  • Geographic regions: tick-borne and mosquito-borne viruses that count in the list of viruses responsible for causing encephalitis are common in specific geographic regions. Moreover, particular seasons of a year are also considered for increasing the chances to develop encephalitis, as the above mentioned viruses are more prevalent in some specific seasons.

What are the possible complications of encephalitis?

Mostly, the condition cause mild symptoms that tend to recover after completing its course and leading no serious complication, however for serious cases of encephalitis, complications do exist in the long run, as an injury to the brain caused by inflammation may consequent certain problems. Unfortunately, its severe cases can lead to coma, or even death. Furthermore, some other complications that can be temporary or permanent include:

  • Paralysis.
  • Memory problems.
  • Personality changes.
  • Speech impairments.
  • Vision or hearing defects.
  • Persistent fatigue.

How is encephalitis diagnosed?

Medical history, risk factors and symptoms are crucial while diagnosing the condition. Furthermore, the doctor can suggest the following tests:

  • Brain imaging.
  • Lumbar puncture.
  • Other lab tests.
  • Electroencephalogram.
  • Brain biopsy.

How is encephalitis treated?

For mild cases, the doctor can suggest anti-inflammatory drugs, excessive intake of fluids and bed rest. Treatment of intravenous antiviral is needed in case encephalitis is caused by specific viruses.

For severe cases of encephalitis, further supportive care is required in the hospital, such as:

  • Intravenous fluids.
  • Breathing assistance.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Anticonvulsant medications.

By : Natural Health News


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