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What are some causes of brain infections?

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Common causes of brain infections include bacteria, virus, fungi, autoimmune disorders and severe brain injury. The primary categories of brain infections are meningitis, encephalitis and brain abscess, according to WebMD.

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Meningitis is a brain infection that affects the meninges, membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by fungal, bacterial and viral infections. Fungal meningitis is less common and primarily affects people with weak immune systems, such as those with AIDS. Bacterial infection can pass from one person to another through sneezing and coughing, and, if left untreated, it can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Viral meningitis is the most common but is less likely to cause brain damage, explains WebMD.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. It is common in children and older people, especially those whose immune systems are weak. It is caused by viruses and is common to people suffering from other viral diseases, such as rabies, measles, influenza, chickenpox, mumps and herpes simplex, notes WebMD.

A brain abscess is an infection characterized by swelling in the brain. Its symptoms are decreased responsiveness, vomiting, fever, decreased sensation and change in vision, according to Healthline. It develops from middle ear infections, sinusitis, chronic illnesses and birth defects like tetralogy of fallot, a heart problem.

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