A brain abscess is a pocket of infection that forms in the brain. Depending on its size and location, a brain abscess may cause headaches, personality changes, one-sided weakness, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and seizures.
Brain abscesses are not common. They may be caused by:
- The spread of infection from somewhere else in the head, such as the gums (gingivitis), mouth, nose, ear, or sinus.
- A deep head wound that penetrates the brain.
- Infection that has travelled through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body.
Treatment includes medicine to fight the infection and decrease swelling in the brain. In some cases a brain abscess requires surgical drainage.
Current as of: December 13, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine