What are inflammatory disorders of the brain and spine?

Also known as: inflammatory brain disease, spinal inflammatory disorders, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS), brain/spinal abscess, meningitis, encephalitis

Inflammation is the process that the body uses to respond to an infection or irritating process. Inflammation usually results in pain and swelling of the part of the body involved. Many, but not all inflammations of the brain and spinal cord are from infections like bacteria, viruses or other germs (organism).

Sometimes the body can respond to any infection/irritation by producing proteins (antibodies) which can attack its own brain or spinal cord causing an inflammation. There may be an inherited genetic abnormality is some brain inflammations.

When infections are walled off in an organ (brain/ spinal cord or other organ) it's called an abscess; encephalitis, is inflammation of the brain; myelitis, or infection of the spinal cord; and meningitis, which is an infection of a membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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