Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is a brain abscess?"
Do they start with an infection? I have a lump on my head that is not going away. Maybe just being parenoid.
A brain abscess is a collection of infected material and immune cells usually due to bacteria, but occasionally due to other types of infections such as fungi or parasites that is located within brain tissue. It is a very rare condition, though those who have weakened immune systems from cancer, HIV/AIDS, or immunosuppressive medications and those with malformations of their blood vessels are at increased risks. It is frequently associated with infections and can result either from the spread of bacteria or other infective agents through the blood or from extension of an ear or sinus infection into the brain. However, occasionally they occur without a clear infection beforehand. Symptoms are in many ways similar to other infections such as fevers or chills, headaches, and vomiting, but they are also associated with some unique signs. Some of the most frequent symptoms seen in brain abscesses are confusion, alteration in the level of consciousness or change in personality, or weakness. They can not be felt as bumps on the side of the head and people that have them can become very sick. Your primary care physician can best evaluate your symptoms and discuss your options. Good luck!
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