Herpes: the brain is under threat

What Can Herpes Do To Your Brain? (Health And Medical Video July 2018).

From 10 to 20% of viral inflammatory diseases of the brain are due to herpetic infection.

Herpetic lesion of the brain is a necrotic process, therefore, after the disease has a high probability of development of neurological complications both temporary and permanent.

Herpetic lesion of the brain is a necrotic process, therefore, after the disease transmitted, a high probability of development of neurological consequences - both temporal and permanent.

In case of herpetic infection, the central nervous systemmembrane often occurs in the form of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and its membranes). The form of the disease may be localized, and may be combined with lesions of the skin, mucous and internal organs, ie E. Being one of the syndromes of the generalized process. The most vulnerable category of patients - newborns and children of early age.

Herpetic encephalitis

Herpetic encephalitis is one of the most common encephalitis. Approximately in 2/3 of the patients, the impetus for the development of the disease can be dormant before and suddenly "woke up" already existing in the brain infection. This occurs under the influence of injuries, the action of drugs (eg, glucocorticosteroids), overcooling or overheating, etc. In the remaining third of patients and from exogenous, t. E. Tim, which comes from external causes, infection.

The herpes virus enters the central nervous system through the bloodstream, but the main pathway is along the nerve trunks (mainly from branches of the trigeminal nerve and olfactory path). Then, the virus enters the subcortical nuclei, the nucleus of the trunk, reaches the cerebral cortex and in most cases admires the midbrain, trunk and hemisphere of the brain.


Herpes encephalitis is characterized by the same syndromes as for encephalitis in general: syndrome of consciousness disorder, hyperthermia, convulsive syndromes and syndrome of focal disorders.

Herpetic encephalitis begins acutely, usually after one or two days of acute respiratory infection. Suddenly the temperature rises, usually above 39 0 From which it is difficult to knock down. Violent consciousness: short-term (within several hours) of excitement is replaced by inhibition, drowsiness, lethargy to its complete loss and profound oppression - up to coma of varying degrees. Consciousness returns gradually.

Since herpetic encephalitis is often affected by frontal lobes of the brain, the child is disturbed by memory, writing and oral skills, and children are unaware of reading, drawing, etc. The behavior of the child, his attitude towards others may change. All this is manifestation of the syndrome of focal disturbances.

Persistent convulsive syndrome (epileptic seizures), also characteristic of herpetic encephalitis, is of a generalized nature, it is difficult to treat even by the most modern means.

Treatment and prognosis

Today, timely initiated antiviral therapy has reduced the mortality to 5-6% (to acyclovir, it reached 74%). With the favorable course of the disease from 3-4 weeks begins a stage of reverse development of symptoms, which lasts from three months to six months or more. In the future, long active restoration therapy is required.

In adults, herpetic encephalitis can go into chronic form. In this case, intellectual-mnemic disorders progress to dementia (dementia). Possible "soft" variant of chronic herpetic encephalitis as a syndrome of chronic fatigue.

Herpetic meningitis

With the damage to the central nervous system, the herpes virus can develop meningoencephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 against the background of encephalitis. Herpetic meningitis in the structure of serous meningitis is 4-8%. As a rule, the disease begins acutely.


As with any meningitis, with meningoencephalitis there is an increasing persistent headache - diffuse or with localization in the fronto-temporal region; Not associated with eating repeated vomiting. Often, the first manifestations of meningitis are preceded by signs of acute respiratory viral infections, there are characteristic rashes on the skin and mucous membranes. After about three days there are symptoms of cerebral edema: disturbance of consciousness in the form of confusion, lack of orientation in time and space. Patients often become aggressive, they have visual, auditory hallucinations, local or generalized seizures.

Treatment and prognosis

The course of meningitis is acute. When timely initiated antiviral therapy, body temperature is normalized within a week, headaches and meningeal symptoms disappear. In extremely severe forms of meningoencephalitis, a fatal outcome is possible.


In case of herpetic infection there is a combined lesion of the brain and spinal cord - meningoencephalomyelitis. Along with the signs of herpetic meningoencephalitis, clinical signs of myelitis are manifested.


The disease begins acutely or subactively against the background of general-infectious symptoms: fever to 38-39 ° C, chills, malaise. Neurological manifestations begin with moderate pains and paresthesia in the lower extremities, back and chest, which are rooted in nature. Then, within one to three days, the maxillary, sensitive and pelvic disorders appear, rise and reach maximum, paralysis of both lower extremities (paraplegia), present incontinence or delay of urine and feces, etc. With defeat of the diaphragmatic nerve, there are breathing disorders. In more rare cases, the inflammatory process involves only half the spinal cord.

Treatment and prognosis

In this case, the antibiotics are assigned an antibiotic spectrum of action in maximum doses, glucocorticoids, vitamins B and other drugs.

The disease rarely passes without a trace, with a gross damage to the transverse of the brain after the postponed meningoencephalomyelitis remains a stable paraplegia. Most often, if the movement and is restored, there remains an element of spasticity during the course of paresthesia, convulsions in the legs.

Herpes: the brain is under threat

Category Of Medical Issues: Diseases

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