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CNS infections 

CNS infections
CNS infections

Sam Nightingale

, Benedict Daniel Michael

, and Tom Solomon

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date: 02 March 2021

Central nervous system infections due to a variety of pathogens cause a wide spectrum of cognitive disorders from acute confusion to chronic dementing illnesses. They are important to recognize as in many cases they are readily treatable. Early recognition can prevent further cognitive decline, and in some cases established cognitive impairment can be reversed by treatment. Impairment in cognitive function may occur alongside other features of CNS infection such as fever, meningism, cranial neuropathy, and seizures. These may provide clues to an infectious aetiology, however in many cases these features are absent and investigation for CNS infections should not be limited to patients exhibiting these features. In this chapter, CNS pathogens are divided into those that cause acute CNS infection, those that cause cognitive disorders as a complication of subacute CNS infection, and those that cause dementia due to chronic CNS infection.

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