A brain abscess is a local accumulation of pus inside the skull and is a neurological disorder. There are three types of brain abscess:
- intracerebral abscess – pus is formed directly inside the brain;
- epidural – pus is located above the meninges;
- subdural – located under the meninges.
How does a brain abscess develop?
There are several options for the brain abscess to develop:
- hematogenous (inflammatory processes in the lungs, gastrointestinal infections and sepsis);
- through the penetration of infection as a result of traumatic brain injury;
- purulent-inflammatory (caused by inflammation in the nose and ears);
- infected (complications after neurosurgical interventions).
After the infection has penetrated, the abscess forms within three weeks, and has the following stages:
- first three days: the development of encephalitis (local tissue inflammation), which can be eliminated with antibiotic therapy.
- day 4-9: the inflammation progresses, the cavity filled with pus increases.
- day 10-13: the formation of a protective capsule around the purulent focus, this prevents the process from spreading.
- third week: induration of pus capsule. Depending on the treatment taken at this stage, the brain abscess may begin to develop in the opposite direction or increase in size, and new foci of inflammation may also begin to appear.
Brain abscess symptoms
The difficulty of self-detection of a brain abscess is that it does not have unique symptoms, but only those that can be attributed to any other inflammatory diseases, or brain diseases:
- general malaise;
- eye irritation by light;
- increased intracranial pressure;
- mental disorders, nervousness.
Therefore, if the above symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. When a specialist diagnoses an abscess, the main reason for a more accurate examination will be the presence of an inflammatory process, which is accompanied by the appearance of neuropsychiatric disorders. To diagnose a brain abscess, the following options are used:
- CT scan;
- MRI of the brain;
- ophthalmoscopy (detection of signs of intracranial pressure);
- blood test (detecting signs of inflammation).
As a result of the diagnosis, the stage of the brain abscess will be established and the treatment will be selected.
Brain abscess treatment
When treating a brain abscess, two types of treatment can be used in combination or separately:
- medical treatment consists in the use of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- surgical treatment – in the last stages of the abscess development, the lesion is cut, removing purulent formations and the cavity is treated with an antibiotic.
- body detoxification, to eliminate the consequences of an abscess and prevent its development again.
- general strengthening therapy, providing the patient with a full recovery.
- elimination of functional disorders that appear as a result of a severe disease course.
Consequences of a brain abscess
Depending on the stage of the brain abscess and the success of its treatment, there may be different consequences that affect a person’s health and quality of life.
Typically, most of the consequences are changes in the functioning of the central nervous system:
- partial or complete paralysis;
- hearing impairment;
- weakening of vision;
- decreased intelligence;
- memory impairment;
- weakening of mindfulness.