Our brain and spinal column are the control center of our body. If these become damaged or altered, it can affect us in a variety of ways. With modern technology, our understanding of these effects is never-ending...

Neuro-Infectious Diseases

Neurological infectious diseases are those diseases which occur due to infections of the nervous system. These diseases, that occur due to virus or bacterial infections are diagnosed and treated by doctors who have expert knowledge about infectious diseases with the assistance of a neurologist. The more rare infectious-neurological diseases are harder to diagnose and they need neurological reevaluation in detail. Some of the neurological infectious diseases are as follows:


This is neurological condition in which the membranes of the brain and the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord get inflamed due to bacterial or virus invasion. It is important to know the cause of the disease, whether it is caused due to virus or bacterial infection as the two causes result in difference in seriousness of the condition and accordingly, medication needs to be provided.

  • Bacterial meningitis is generally the more serious condition that has the potential to cause permanent brain damage and even cause death.
  • Viral meningitis, on the other hand is relatively milder and with the right treatment, a person suffering from this condition can be cured within a week or so.

Herpes Encephalitis:

  • This is an example of rare neurological infectious diseases. It is a condition in which the brain tissues become inflamed due to the invasion of the Herpes virus.
  • The infection is generally only mild causing fever, cold sores and blisters but in some rare cases, it travels to the brain and causes encephalitis.
  • The common symptoms of herpes encephalitis include headaches, runny nose, stiff neck, fever, vomiting and sore throat.
  • With the progression of the diseases, more serious symptoms like paralysis, personality changes, hallucinations and even coma may occur. In some cases, it can also be fatal.


  • This is a neurological parasitic infection which is caused due to the ingestion of tapeworm eggs in the nervous system.
  • It is one of the main causes of epilepsy that occurs commonly in the developing countries.
  • The common symptoms of this condition include headaches and seizures. Treatment includes the administration of drugs like praziquantel and albendazole.


  • This is another example of neurological infectious diseases that occur due to parasitic infection. Here, the parasite is Taxoplasma gondii.
  • It may be picked up from a number of birds and animals, cats being definitive hosts. It can occur from organ transplants, blood transfusions, eating of contaminated soils and uncooked meat. It may result from careless handling of cat litter.
  • The common symptoms include headaches, sore throat, muscle pain, enlargement of lymph nodes and fevers. In some cases, it also causes seizures, confusion and retinal inflammation causing blurring of vision.
  • Treatment includes antibiotics and anti-malarial drugs.

Whipple’s Disease:

  • This is one of the examples of rare neurological infectious diseases. The condition causes malabsorption which is the loss in ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients.
  • It is caused due to bacterial infection from Tropheryma whippelii and it generally affects middle-aged people.
  • The common symptoms include fever, diarrhea, joint pain, mental changes, memory losses and abdominal pain.
  • The treatment is long-term antibiotic administration.

Other neurological infectious diseases:

Some other neurological infectious diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, viral encephalitis, tropical spastic paraparesis, Lyme disease and AIDS.