If you want to know more about meningitis, which is one of the most common neurological problems, we recommend that you read on.
neck stiffness is one of the most common clinical manifestations in people with inflammation of the meninges or meningitis. If you want to know more about neck stiffness in people with meningitis, read the following article.
What is meningitis?
In medicine, the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord are called meninges. Inflammation of this membrane is called meningitis.
The cause of meningitis or inflammation of the meningeal membrane can be viral, bacterial and even fungal, so there are different types of meningitis. In this article, we will talk more about meningitis, its causes, as well as the symptoms and manifestations in a person with meningitis, including neck stiffness. Bacterial meningitis can be very dangerous. There are many different types of bacterial meningitis that can lead to death if left untreated, and even if it does improve, it can lead to lasting effects such as hearing loss and permanent learning disabilities.
Inflammation of the meninges, which covers the lining around the brain and spinal cord, is called meningitis. Inflammation of the meninges can cause clinical manifestations ranging from mild fever, headache to stiff neck and other specific manifestations of the meningitis index.
What are the symptoms of meningitis?
We said that meningitis can be viral and bacterial. Usually, the symptoms in a person with bacterial meningitis will be more severe and annoying, clinical signs and symptoms also vary depending on age.
What are the signs and symptoms of viral meningitis?
We said that it is better to describe the symptoms of meningitis in terms of the causative agent, ie the virus or bacteria and also, based on the age group.
We first describe the symptoms of viral meningitis in infants:
Symptoms are as follows:
- Increase the baby’s irritability
- Decreased appetite of the baby
- The baby is drowsy
- Frequent crying of the baby
- High fever
- Severe restlessness
- Infant insomnia
- A bulge in the baby’s head
- Dry neck
Symptoms of viral meningitis in adult adults are as follows:
- Neck stiffness
- Decreased appetite
- Sensitivity to light
The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are almost the same in adults, children and infants. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis appear suddenly and their severity will be much higher than viral. The symptoms are as follows:
High fever in both infants and adults, bacterial meningitis will be associated with high fever:
- Neck stiffness
- Mindfulness change, Mental state change
- Skin rashes (usually the rashes are purple and bluish in color)
- Sensitivity to light also occurs.
In infants, restlessness, refusal to breastfeed, crying, and irritability are usually added to the above symptoms.
Symptoms of fungal meningitis
Fungal meningitis is said to have symptoms similar to those of viral and bacterial cases, Symptoms of fungal meningitis in children and adults include the following:
People with bacterial and viral meningitis, in addition to fever, headache, lethargy, irritability have neck stiffness.
What are the types of meningitis?
Inflammation of the meninges, which is the lining around the brain and spinal cord, can be caused by a variety of reasons. Depending on the cause of the infection or Inflammation of the meninges, meningitis can be classified into the following categories:
- Viral meningitis:
Viral meningitis is caused by pathogenic viruses.
They are the most common types of meningitis.
The spread of viruses and their resulting meningitis is very common in the summer, fall, and other types of viruses that can be associated with meningitis are include:
- Herpes simplex type two
- Herpes zoster
- Mumps virus
- Bacterial meningitis:
Bacterial meningitis occurs when the cause of infection and inflammation in the meninges is bacterial.
Five to forty percent of children and twenty to fifty percent of adult with bacterial meningitis are said to die.
This type of disease is said to be fatal if left untreated.
- Fungal meningitis:
Fungal meningitis is a rare condition compared to the above types. It usually travels from the bloodstream to the brain or spinal cord following a fungus that infects the entire body, and causes meningitis.
It is generally said that people who take immunosuppressive drugs and people with weak immune systems and immune system defects are more likely to develop fungal meningitis.
- Parasitic meningitis:
Parasitic meningitis, due to parasites found in soil, feces and foods such as snails, raw fish and poultry, may be transmitted to the body, cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain and meninges, causing inflammation in them.
Meningitis caused by parasites is less common than bacterial type. Meningitis can be caused by other factors. Other causes of meningitis other than viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi are as follows:
- Allergies, especially allergies to a variety of drugs
- Some types of tumors and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis
The types of bacteria that can cause acute bacterial meningitis are as follows:
We said that when bacteria invade the bloodstream, they can reach the brain and spinal cord and cause acute bacterial meningitis, However, following ear infections, otitis media, sinus infections, and sinusitis, traumatic fractures and injuries of the skull, as well as after surgery on the skull and head and face, the bacteria can reach the meninges directly and cause infection and inflammation. The following are some of the types of bacteria that cause acute bacterial meningitis:
Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus:
It is the most common bacterium that causes meningitis in infants and adults.
usually causes upper respiratory infections and then enters the bloodstream and can cause meningitis and bacterial meningitis. This bacterium causes a very contagious infection and affects adolescents, and adults.
The third bacterium is Listeria:
Listeria is found in cheeses that are not pasteurized and in unhealthy hot dogs and eating areas.
People with weakened immune systems, the elderly, infants and pregnant women are said to be more prone to listeria meningitis.
It is estimated that three-quarters of people develop acute bacterial meningitis before the age of 15 and more symptoms develop during the first days to the first week.
Diagnosis of acute bacterial meningitis is made by culturing cerebrospinal fluid, blood culture, and skin lesions. The CSF of people with acute bacterial meningitis is said to have 1,000 to tens of thousands of white blood cells called neutrophils per Cc, and glucose levels will be less than 40 milligrams per Cc.
Neck stiffness is a very common manifestation in meningitis. The meninges consist of three layers that become inflamed and infected in meningitis. When the Dura becomes slightly inflamed, the nerve fibers that propagate from the Dura to the neck become inflamed, causing stiffness in the neck.
Neck stiffness is a very serious sign that it indicates meningitis when it is accompanied by headache or fever and vomiting, and there is a feeling of illness and boredom It must be followed up.
Treatment of meningitis
Treatment of meningitis is very important in saving a person in some cases. Treatment of meningitis can vary depending on the age group, ie infants, children and adults.
- Treatment of viral meningitis:
in this type, antibiotic therapy has no place. In most cases, viral meningitis spontaneously over several Week will improve.
The treatment of various types of viral meningitis is as follows:
It is recommended to rest and take plenty of fluids.
Anti-inflammatory painkillers to relieve pain and reduce fever.
Also, if the herpes simplex virus is the cause, it may be necessary to use an antiviral drug.
- Treatment of Bacterial meningitis:
Acute bacterial meningitis will require prompt diagnosis and treatment and appropriate intravenous antibiotics and sometimes intravenous corticosteroids to reduce and control cerebral edema or seizure control.
Antibiotics either alone or in combination with antibiotics vary from person to person depending on the infectious agent. If the cause of meningitis is not known, doctors often start using a combination of antiviral and antibacterial therapies.
This treatment lasts until the underlying cause of the meningitis becomes apparent. Fungal meningitis is treated with antifungal drugs. Remember that most of these drugs are They have very important and serious side effects and it is best to delay treatment with antifungals until a laboratory diagnosis of fungal meningitis is confirmed.
Non-infectious meningitis that occurs following allergies, especially to medications or autoimmune diseases such as sarcoidosis, responds to treatment with intravenous corticosteroids.
In some cases, meningitis does not require special treatment and the patient will recover spontaneously.
It is said that in tumor-related meningitis and cancers, cancer treatment is also necessary for the treatment of meningitis.
Can meningitis be a complication?
Meningitis can have serious side effects if left untreated. Most of these serious complications occur in people with bacterial meningitis who are not treated early and in a timely manner with proper treatment. Lack of proper treatment for meningitis increases the risk of seizures and Lack of proper treatment for meningitis increases the risk of seizures and can lead to permanent neurological damage or complications such as the following:
Memory impairment, Problems and learning disabilities
Cognitive problems with speech disorders
Obviously, the possibility of these complications will be reduced if prompt, timely and appropriate treatment measures are taken.
Do not forget that with timely diagnosis, the right antibiotic for meningitis can cure bacterial meningitis that can be fatal.
And their probability of death will be less than fifty-one percent with proper and timely antibiotic treatment.