Information for Patients
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Usually the cause is a viral infection, but bacteria can also cause it. It can be mild or severe. Most cases are mild. You may have flu-like symptoms. With a mild case, you may just need rest, plenty of fluids, and a pain reliever.
Severe cases need immediate treatment. Symptoms of severe cases include
- Severe headache
- Sudden fever
In babies, additional symptoms may include constant crying, poor feeding, body stiffness, and bulging in the soft spots of the skull.
Severe cases may require a stay in the hospital. Treatments include oral and intravenous (IV) medicines to reduce inflammation and treat infection. Patients with breathing difficulties may need artificial respiration. Some people may need physical, speech, and occupational therapy once the illness is under control.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collection (Medical Encyclopedia)
- CSF analysis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Encephalitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
Also called: Hemiplegia, Palsy, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia
Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.
Most paralysis is due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck. Other causes of paralysis include
- Nerve diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Bell's palsy, which affects muscles in the face
Polio used to be a cause of paralysis, but polio no longer occurs in the U.S.
- Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hypokalemic periodic paralysis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Muscle function loss (Medical Encyclopedia)