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A brain abscess is a localised infection within the brain substance containing bacteria or other microbes. The body forms a protective barrier around the infection however the abscess can still expand and cause a reactive swelling in the surrounding brain.
A brain abscess may develop from one of three routes:
People with brain abscesses are generally very sick. They may show:
There will be normal signs of infection with swinging fevers, hot/cold flushes and drenching sweats.
Headaches, nausea and vomiting may occur from raised pressure inside the skull from the expanding abscess mass.
Specific signs of a brain abscess are dependent on the position of the abscess within the brain.
Seizures are common as is a progressive drowsiness and delirium. Neurological deficits like abnormal speech, weakness and numbness may occur.
Suitable control of seizures with anti-convulsants (medication). Understanding their type of epilepsy, the warning signs, triggering factors and a change of life style to accommodate their condition. Surgical options for the treatment of patients with epilepsy not controlled by medication is increasingly successful. Suitable candidates may be offered surgery.
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