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Infectious diseases

A wide variety of organisms can attack the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi can all cause different symptoms. Learn more about the various infectious diseases of the nervous system.

Fungal Infections of the Nervous System
To be infected by a spore, mold or fungus has a uniquely nasty feeling about it. This is particularly the case when the fungus invades something as prized and private as our brain. Fungal infections of the central nervous system are not particularly common, but when such infections occur the results can be devastating.

Aseptic Meningitis
The most common cause of inflammation in the tissues that surround the brain is not a bacterial infection, but a virus.

West Nile Virus
Every year, West Nile Virus makes new appearances in hospitals and on the news. Do you really know the facts about West Nile?

Neurocysticercosis
Parasitic tapeworm larvae in the brain.

HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects the immune system, particularly cells called CD4 positive T-cells. As these cells die, the body becomes more prone to infections and cancers that healthy people would be able to fight off. What some people don’t realize is that the HIV virus itself can cause serious problems even without other infections getting involved. One of these problems is HIV Associated Dementia (HAD), also known as HIV encephalopathy or AIDS dementia complex.

Management of Elevated Intracranial Pressure
When pressure gets too high around your brain, very bad things can happen. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways neurologists can control that pressure, usually in a neuro-ICU.

Amoeba in the Central Nervous System
Amoeba are a rare but deadly cause of neurological diseases.

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Learn about this serious opportunistic infection that attacks people when their immune system isn't working well.

Parasitic Infections of the Central Nervous System
Parasitic infections can invade practically any part of the body imagineable. Those that infect the nervous system are potentially the most damaging, and the most disturbing.

Prion Disease
Prions are deformed proteins that cause normal proteins to change shape as well, transforming them into more prions. The result is a cascade of twisted proteins that lead to the death of brain cells, leading to a rapidly progressive dementia.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Creutzfeldt-Jakob is the most common form of prion disease. Prion diseases are caused by a mutated protein that causes more proteins to change shape, transforming them into more prions. The result is a cascade of deformed protein that kills brain cells and leads to rapidly progressive dementia.

Neurological Complications of HIV
Most people recognize that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. After all, that’s why HIV is named what it is. What is less well known is that even without inviting other infections to attack the body...

Infections of the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord, like any other part of the nervous system, can become infected. Paralysis, numbness, and worse can result.

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