Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Brain Abscess Overview

What is a brain abscess?
A person with a brain abscess has a collection of pus in the brain tissue, caused by an infection. Brain abscesses are caused by an infection with bacteria, parasites, or fungi. Bacteria, such as streptococcus and staphylococcus are the most common cause. A brain abscess is a rare problem with only about 2,500 cases reported annually in the United States. Those who have a weak immune system, such as AIDS, are at increased risk for a brain abscess.

What are the symptoms of a brain abscess?
Symptoms of a brain abscess may include chronic headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Other symptoms include localized numbness or weakness, change in vision, and seizures.

How does the doctor treat a brain abscess?
Treatment for a brain abscess includes antibiotics and surgery.

Continue to Brain Abscess Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Brain Abscess References
  1. Bernardini GL. Diagnosis and management of brain abscess and subdural empyema. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2004 Nov;4(6):448-56. [15509445]
  2. Roche M, Humphreys H, Smyth E, et al. A twelve-year review of central nervous system bacterial abscesses; presentation and aetiology. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Aug;9(8):803-9. [14616700]
  3. Xiao F, Tseng MY, Teng LJ, Tseng HM, Tsai JC. Brain abscess: clinical experience and analysis of prognostic factors. Surg Neurol. 2005 May;63(5):442-9; discussion 449-50. [1588306]
  4. Yogev R, Bar-Meir M. Management of brain abscesses in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2004 Feb;23(2):157-9. [14872183]
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