Brain abscess

What is a Brain Abscess?

A brain abscess is an accumulation of pus, or purulent material, that forms in the brain or the brain tissue. A brain abscess is a serious medical condition and can lead to death if not treated promptly. It is caused when an infection or a foreign body enters the brain and triggers an immune response that results in an abscess. In rare cases, an abscess can form from a non-infectious source.

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Abscess

Most symptoms of a brain abscess are non-specific and develop gradually over time. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Neck stiffness, tenderness, and/or swelling
  • Seizures
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or paralysis of part of the body
  • Vision changes
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Hearing or speech problems

Diagnosis and Treatment of Brain Abscess

A diagnosis of brain abscess can usually be made with a combination of physical examination, a CT scan or MRI of the head, and blood tests. Treatment typically involves a combination of antibiotics, surgery, and drainage of the pus from the abscess.

Surgery is usually the first line of treatment for a brain abscess and involves opening the brain to remove the pus. In some cases, antibiotics alone may be sufficient to treat the abscess, depending on the source of the infection. In addition to antibiotics and surgery, your doctor may also suggest a supportive treatment plan such as bed rest, a healthy diet, and plenty of fluids.

Prevention of Brain Abscess

There is no surefire way to prevent a brain abscess. However, you may be able to reduce your risk by practicing good hygiene and following a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding contact with individuals who have an active infection, such as a cold or the flu, can also help reduce your risk.