Infectious and inflammatory metabolic encephalopathies: Concepts in pathogenesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The normal health and metabolism of the brain can be impaired by systemic or central nervous system infections and non-infectious inflammatory disorders of the brain. The ensuing encephalopathy can manifest by symptoms as mild as listlessness and irritability or as severe as frank coma. Whether the cause is actual infection of the brain or systemic sepsis or inflammation, the presence of encephalopathy always carries a grave prognosis. Mortality and morbidity can be as high as 30-100% depending on the clinical scenario, and early recognition and appropriate supportive care can sometimes provide a favorable outcome. The cause of the encephalopathy in systemic or CNS infection remains unknown. A specific therapy other than treating the infection and providing supportive care is not available. There is concern that the encephalopathy may be neuroprotective as activation of the brain during periods of deranged metabolism may lead to irreversible injury or death. When treatment of infection is successful, an uneventful recovery can occur even in patients who endured prolonged periods of coma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMetabolic Encephalopathy
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780387791128
ISBN (Print)9780387791098
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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