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Reference Guide

Permachart - Marketing Reference Guide: Viral Meningitis, Epidural Hematoma, Meningococcal Disease

ANAT - Anatomy
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• Muscle weakness • Memory impairment
• Headaches • Pain
Tremors • Fatigue
• Dizziness • Motor disturbances
• Numbness Visual disturbances
• Speech disturbances
The nervous system is composed of
the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, and
is responsible for coordinating the
body’s activities, and sensing and
responding to stimuli • The brain and spinal
cord together make up the central nervous
system (CNS), which processes and stores
motor and sensory information • The remaining
network of nerves throughout the body
constitute the peripheral nervous system
(PNS), which sends impulses to and from the brain
and spinal cord
There are numerous diseases and disorders that
can disrupt the flow of information within the nervous
system, resulting in a variety of symptoms • Such
conditions may be due to injury, infection, heredity
or unknown causes
Paraplegia refers to loss of sensory and motor control of
the lower extremities and sometimes parts of the trunk,
while quadriplegia additionally involves the upper
extremities • These conditions are brought on by severe
spinal cord injury resulting from vertebral fracture or
dislocation, with location and extent of injury to the spinal
cord determining the degree of paralysis (i.e., whether
paraplegia or quadriplegia results) • Both conditions may
involve urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction, depending
on the location of damage • Treatment, though not a
guarantee of reversing paralysis, involves realigning the
spinal column and/or decompressing the spinal cord,
nerves, and vertebrae as soon as possible following injury
Disk Prolapse (Herniated Disk)
• In this disorder, the intervertebral disk ruptures and its
pulpy core protrudes, putting pressure on spinal nerve roots
This can be caused by sudden strenuous activity, but
usually is caused by disk degeneration with age
This causes severe pain and, if it impinges on the spinal
cord, possible disability • Disks of the lumbar region are
most often affected (i.e., intervertebral spaces L4/L5, L5/S1,
and L3/L4), with sciatica (pain extending unilaterally from
the buttock to the ankle) resulting if the sciatic nerve is
compressed • If prolapse occurs in the neck, neck pain and
stiffness occur, and sometimes tingling and weakness in the
arms • Treatment consists of extended bed rest, analgesics
for pain relief, and physical therapy, with extreme cases
requiring surgical intervention
Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection that causes
inflammation of the meninges (membranes that cover the
brain and spinal cord) Viral meningitis is more common,
and is generally mild, with flu-like symptoms • It requires
no treatment, and usually clears up in a few weeks,
with no lasting effects • Bacterial meningitis can be
life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment
with intravenous antibiotics specific to the infectious agent
The symptoms of bacterial meningitis vary according to
the type of bacteria • Meningococcal meningitis is the
most common, with rapidly-developing flu-like symptoms
followed by drowsiness and sometimes loss of
consciousness • Positive diagnosis is made by lumbar
puncture (removal of a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for
examination) • A vaccine is available, but its success is
limited due to the wide variety of causative factors
Neuritis (Neuropathy)
Neuritis is the inflammation and degeneration of
peripheral nerves, resulting in tingling, numbness,
neuralgia (burning feeling) or muscle weakness
• Eventually, paralysis and muscle atrophy may occur in
areas supplied by the affected nerve Various causes have
been identified (e.g., dietary deficiency, chronic alcohol
intoxication, metabolic disorders, toxin poisoning, infectious
diseases), but the cause may be unknown
Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy is paralysis (usually temporary) of the facial
muscles caused by compression of the facial nerve
The compression can be caused by a tumor, trauma
to the nerve, or may be associated with herpes zoster
(shingles) • The patient can display an inability to smile,
close the mouth, grimace or wrinkle the brow, and taste
may be affected • The condition is usually unilateral and
causes the eyelid and corner of the mouth on the affected
side to droop • There may also be pain behind the ear
Treatment involves corticosteroids or adrenocorticotropic
hormone (ACTH) to reduce inflammationFacial muscle
exercises, massage, and application of heat may help
improve muscle tone, and plastic surgery is sometimes
indicated to reduce deformityFull recovery is possible
with early treatment
A violent blow to the head can lead to unconsciousness,
which is referred to as a concussion • This occurs when
electrical brain activity is disturbed, and can last from a
few seconds to several minutes • Dizziness, confusion,
memory loss, and vomiting are common symptoms, and
are more pronounced with a longer period of
unconsciousness • The patient may fall into a coma while
asleep, and should be woken periodically • In most cases,
no permanent brain damage occurs, although treatment by
a physician is recommended if new symptoms develop
Cerebral Contusion
A contusion is bruising of the brain due to severe head
trauma (skin is usually not broken), usually from a blow to
the head or impact with a hard surfaceDepending on the
severity, symptoms can range from temporary loss of
consciousness to a coma, and generally last longer than
24 hours • Symptoms may include blurred vision, unequal
pupils, nausea, and headaches A CT scan will show
extent and location of damage; an X-ray can rule out skull
fracture • Serious contusion may involve a hematoma,
and can result in further sensory and motor disruption
A hematoma is a localized pooling of blood caused by
a broken blood vessel • An epidural hematoma occurs
between the skull and dura mater, and is usually the result
of a blow to the head • A subdural hematoma occurs
between the dura mater and arachnoid membrane, and
usually results when the head strikes a hard surface,
as in a fall • Both types have similar symptoms, but those
of subdural hematomas have delayed onset • Immediate
medical attention is required in both instances
Skull Fractures
When the skull is fractured and the bone fragments push
into the brain (an open or depressed fracture), severe
brain injury can result • Symptoms vary depending on
location, but disappear once the fracture is reduced
• Epilepsy is often a complication of this type of fracture
Common Symptoms
Impinging disk
Cauda equina
Nerve roots
Spinal ganglion
Lumbar verte-
bral body
Lumbar Disk Prolapse
Scalp Cranium Dura mater Arachnoid
Pia mater Gray matter White matter Meninges
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain (and the
meninges) generally caused by a viral infection • The virus
can be transmitted by mosquito bite (e.g., St. Louis
encephalitis), infection with herpes simplex virus type 1
(HSV1), infection with HIV or a complication of other viral
infections (e.g., measles, chickenpox, mumps)
• Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, unsteady
gait, vomiting, stiffness, weakness, visual disturbances, and
lethargy (in serious cases, unilateral paralysis, seizures or
coma) • Acyclovir is used to treat encephalitis caused by
HSV1; if other viruses are involved, there is no effective
treatment (death or permanent brain damage may result)
• Medication can be used to treat symptoms
Reye’s Syndrome
Reye’s syndrome is a brain and liver disorder affecting
children recovering from a viral infection (e.g., upper
respiratory tract infection, chicken pox) • It is related to
taking aspirin for treatment of symptoms caused by
infection; specific cause is unknown • About 1 week after
illness onset, brain swells and liver is invaded by fatty tissue
• Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, memory loss, liver
dysfunction, confusion, seizures, and coma • There is no
specific treatment; brain swelling can be controlled by
corticosteroids, and blood transfusions or dialysis can help
correct problems from liver dysfunction
Brain Abscess
When infection spreads from elsewhere in the body to the
brain, a collection of pus can form and is referred to as a
brain abscess • Patients exhibit headache and symptoms
specific to the location of the abscess • The most common
sites are the frontal and temporal lobes • Treatment consists
of antibiotics and surgery, but generally some permanent
impairment remains
Nervous System Disorders
Nervous System Disorders
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