– Acute inflammatory disease of the brain
– Usually viralà over 25 types
– Herpes Simplex: most common sporadic type
– Cytomegalovirus: usually assoc. with HIV
– Acute febrile illness with symptoms of meningitis AND neurologic signs such as aphasia, seizures, cranial nerve involvement
– Patient may present with fever, facial paralysis, headache, seizures, nausea and vomiting
– CT scan usually initially normal; MRI more helpful
– Need brain biopsy for pharmaceutical treatment
– Herpes simplexà Zovirax
– Death occurs in 70-80% of patients if treatment not begun before patient becomes comatoseà 28% if treatment begun early
A seizure is an abnormal, unregulated electrical discharge that occurs within the brain’s cortical gray matter and transiently interrupts normal brain function. A seizure typically produces altered awareness, abnormal sensations, involuntary movements, or convulsions. . It may affect a small focal area of the brain, or the entire brain (generalized). The area affected by the seizure loses its regular ability of function and may react uncontrollably. For example, if an area of the brain that controls an arm has a seizure, the arm may shake repetitively. If a seizure affects the entire brain, all the extremities may shake uncontrollably. Theoretically, any function of the brain, motor, smell, vision, or emotion may be individually affected by a seizure.
An isolated seizure can be provoked in a normal brain by reversible stressors (eg, hypoxia, hypoglycemia; in children, fever). A seizure disorder (epilepsy) is diagnosed when a patient has ≥ 2 seizures not related to reversible stressors.