Encephalitis is a dangerous brain disease that must be treated quickly to prevent permanent complications. The disease has different symptoms depending on the affected areas of the brain, but most people experience headaches, photosensitivity, dry neck, confusion and seizures. Early diagnosis is one of the most important factors in the treatment of this disease, so get acquainted with this disease and if you have any symptoms, see a doctor immediately. In the following, we will examine the types of encephalitis and the methods of its prevention and treatment. Stay with us.
What is cerebral encephalitis?
Encephalitis is a rare disease that affects 10-15 people out of every 100,000. When the disease affects the brain, it may even change the personality.
Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get the disease. This disease can be caused by one of the different types of viral infections, which is why it is sometimes known as viral encephalitis.
Types of encephalitis and causes
The disease can be caused by an infection or autoimmune complication, in which the body itself attacks the brain. Even with complete tests, the underlying cause of 30 to 40% of cases remains unknown.
This type of disease is usually caused by viral infections. Diseases such as measles, rubella, mumps, and chickenpox also increase the risk of developing the disease. Of course, other diseases may also be the cause of this disease. The most common causes of infectious encephalitis are herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (genital herpes), varicella zoster virus and enterovirus (the cause of gastrointestinal diseases).
It can also be caused by the transmission of certain viruses by mosquito bites, ticks and other diseases. Some of these viruses:
- West Nile virus;
- Japanese encephalitis virus;
- La Crosse virus;
- St. Louis virus;
- Equine viruses;
- Powassan virus;
It is rare for microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites and fungi to cause the disease.
What is autoimmune encephalitis?
Autoimmune encephalitis occurs when a person’s own antibodies or immune cells attack his or her brain. These antibodies may target a specific group of proteins or receptors in the brain, which determines the type of autoimmune encephalitis.
Although the cause of the disease is not well known, it can sometimes be due to a tumor (benign or cancerous). Some types of the disease are also triggered by an infection known as post-infection encephalitis.
Symptoms of cerebral encephalitis
Acute encephalitis begins with a set of symptoms that worsen over days to weeks. Infectious encephalitis usually starts with flu or headache symptoms and then affects most of the patient’s mental states. It can interfere with thinking, remembering, and reasoning. The development of autoimmune encephalitis takes weeks.
Symptoms may vary depending on the area of the brain involved. In autoimmune encephalitis, these symptoms are related to the type of antibody or antibody.
- Movement disorder;
- Light sensitivity;
- Sensitivity to sound;
- Dry neck;
In severe cases:
- Local weakness or paralysis of the limbs;
- Speaking or hearing impairment;
- Sleeping too much;
- Confusion and confusion;
- Memory loss;
- Behavior change;
- Cognitive impairment.
Diagnosis of cerebral encephalitis
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should be examined to diagnose the disease. With rapid diagnosis of the disease, the risk of death or permanent complications is significantly reduced.
Your doctor may order tests to diagnose the disease, examine you, and ask questions about your medical history. Your vaccines, recent colds, and other respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses will also be reviewed. Your doctor will ask you about stings, contact with animals, and travel to specific locations.
Encephalitis tests include:
- Imaging of the nerves by MRI or CT scan;
- Removal of cerebrospinal fluid from the spine to check for signs of brain or spinal cord infections;
- Electroencephalogram or EEG to check for seizure symptoms and specific patterns of brain neural activity;
- Blood, urine, or stool tests to detect organisms or antibodies to an infection.
Treatment of cerebral encephalitis
Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the underlying cause is the most important factor that saves the lives of patients. For the best treatment, a team of specialists is needed to work together.
People with encephalitis may need to be admitted to the intensive care unit so that treatment staff can look after complications such as seizures, inflammation, respiratory arrest or heart rhythm changes.
The treatment of this disease depends on the underlying factor, so it can include the following:
- Antiviral drugs to fight viral infections involving the brain;
- Antibiotics to treat bacterial infections;
- Immunotherapy, such as the use of steroids, injectable antibodies, or plasma replacement therapy for the treatment of autoimmune encephalitis;
- Drugs to control seizures;
- If the person loses consciousness due to the disease, it may be necessary to use breathing tubes, catheters and feeding tubes.
What is the outcome of encephalitis?
This disease can be very dangerous. The acute phase of the disease and its treatment puts a lot of pressure on the patient and his family. During an encephalitis attack, the swollen brain tissue may be damaged, although the amount varies from patient to patient.
In general, healing the brain is not like bones and skin and muscles; Nevertheless, it is possible to improve it. In milder cases, the illness is short-lived and usually leads to complete recovery. But despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, 10% of patients still die.
Survivors of severe encephalitis may have permanent problems, such as:
- Chronic fatigue;
- Concentration disorder;
- hearing problem;
- Memory loss;
Recovery may take months or even years. Complete recovery requires complete rehabilitation with the help of neurologists, speech therapy, psychotherapy, and proper nutrition.
The relationship between cerebral encephalitis and coronary artery disease
Covid 19 can cause symptoms and complications related to neurological diseases. According to studies by the Encephalitis Scientific Society, 13 out of every 100 patients with coronary artery disease may develop encephalitis or inflammation in addition to neurological problems. According to research, 70 to 80% of coronated hospitalized patients develop neurological symptoms such as headaches.
The best way to prevent coronary encephalitis is to get the corona vaccine.
Methods of preventing this disease
Here are some tips to help you prevent the disease:
- Get vaccinated for diseases that may lead to measles, mumps, rubella and rabies;
- Get vaccinated against different types of the disease such as Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis;
- Personal hygiene and hand washing to prevent viral and bacterial diseases;
- Avoid mosquitoes and mites.
If you come in contact with a person with bacterial encephalitis, call your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent the disease.
With the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases caused by the improper use of cleaners and the presence of resistant respiratory viruses such as corona, the risk of the deadly disease encephalitis is higher than ever. After prevention, the best way to deal with this disease is to diagnose it quickly.
We hope that reading this article has helped you to take the necessary measures quickly if you or someone around you is infected with this disease and to protect yourself against the dangerous complications of this disease.