Conditions and diseases

Inflammatory diseases of the nervous system

Symptoms and causes

Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A group of inflammatory diseases that affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

What types of diseases are there?

  • Infectious diseases: inflammation of the central nervous system, in response to pathogenic invaders (viruses or bacteria).
    • Meningitis (inflammation of the dura mater)
    • Encephalitis (infectious disease where the brain tissue outside the dura mater is also affected)
    • Myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord)
  • Inflammatory diseases: inflammation of the central nervous system based on an deregulated defence mechanism of the body itself (auto-immune conditions).
    • Multiple sclerosis and related conditions
      Multiple sclerosis is the most common inflammatory disease: brain and spinal cord are affected in different places and at different times. Less frequent related conditions include neuromyelitis optica, ADEM and Susac syndrome.
    • Systemic diseases
      Inflammatory disease affecting multiple organs, including the brain and spinal cord. Examples: Beh├žet's disease, sarcoidosis, lupus erythematosus.
    • Other, rare, inflammatory disease
      These include, for example, auto-immune encephalitis, vasculitis, etc.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis

Diagnosing these diseases can sometimes be simple, but it is often challenging. Common examinations include NMR examination of the brain and/or spinal cord and a lumbar puncture.

Treatment

Treatment is very different for infectious or inflammatory diseases.

Inflammatory diseases often require a multidisciplinary approach, by a team of physician-specialists and paramedics (physiotherapist, psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist).

Treatment centres and specialisations

Treatment centres and specialisations

Latest publication date: 15/05/2024
Supervising author: Dr Aers Isabelle