Encephalitis represents inflammation of the brain tissue. Very often encephalitis engages and spinal cord and then it is called encephalomyelitis. Sometimes the brain substance is involved by neighborhood in the inflammatory process in serous meningitis (inflammation of the meninges), and then the differentiation between these two diseases is very difficult.
Causes of encephalitis
Most causes of serous meningitis can cause and encephalitis. The most important role in this terms play viruses. Additionally, encephalitis may occur and in toxoplasmosis, trichinelosis, syphilis, typhus and others. Others causes include fracture of the skull (direct infection), penetration of microorganisms in adjacent, distantly (metastatic abscesses), toxins – alcohol, carbon monoxide, plumbum, arsenic, salts of heavy metals. Toxic damages do not lead to a real encephalitis, but rather to encephalophathies because the entire inflammatory process is not developed.
Symptoms of encephalitis
Convulsions, limited consciousness (all grades), difficult speaking (aphasia), paresis and paralysis, gait disturbance (ataxia), involuntary movements, spontaneous movements of the eyeballs (nystagmus), scattered involuntary limb movements (hyperkinesias), severe personality changes, stupidity (dementia) – when encephalitis dementia following the order of destruction of ganglial cells. Changes in cerebrospinal fluid in encephalitis – ksantohromal (buff), usually clear, increase of the cells, increase of the protein, normal glucose (mostly).
Types of encephalitis
General microscopic changes
Poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis) affects the gray matter of the front horn of the spinal cord. There is a destruction of the gray motor nuclei, with localization mainly in the neck intumescentia. Paresis and paralysis of apathetic type are developed. For damage caused by poliomyelitis is typical:
There is no cases of this zoonosis, in which the clinical picture to be fully deployed and then healing has occurred. Patients with developed clinical symptoms die. Localization – motornuclei in the medulla oblongata – vagus nerve, glossopharingeus nerve and other craniocerebral nerves (CHMN), also the cells in the Ammonium horn. In rabies neuronophagia is called nodules of Ernst-Babes. This disease is characterized by bodies of Negri, which are discovered electronomicroscopical as eosinophilic inclusions of the virus.
Lethargic encephalitis (disease of Economo)
It covers the upper floors – mesencephalon, diencephalon. Most severe damages subtance nigra, thalamus opticus, motor nucleus of the third CHMN, palidonigralic nuclei, hypothalamus. In disease of Economo the released melanin by substance nigra is phagocytosed or stays freely in the intercellular spaces. After time substance nigra (black) becomes the substance grisea (gray) or substance alba (white) because of the loss of melanin. This change should be searched in Parkinson’s disease!
Lethargic encephalitis symptoms
Affects gray and white brain matter. The brain is swollen , with smooth folds and restricted sulcuses. Microscopically are detected degenerative changes in neuroganglial cells, neuronophagia, perivascular infiltrates, demyelination, damage of neurofibriles, lipophages, microtrombosis in the vessel and consequently – ischemic necrosis (infarction). In the final stage occurs gliosclerosis.
Types of panencephalomielitis
This blog post was originally published by AutoimmuneMom.com, written by MyHealth-Guide.org and first published on Aug 12, 2011