Meningoencephalitis (; from Greek: meninges- membranes; enkephalos brain; and -itis inflammation) is a medical condition that simultaneously resembles both meningitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the meninges, and encephalitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the brain.
Causative organisms include protozoans, viral and bacterial pathogens.
Specific types include:
Ameobic pathogens exist as free-living protozoans. Nevertheless, these pathogens cause rare and uncommon CNS infections. N. fowleri produces primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The symptoms of PAM are indistinguishable from acute bacterial meningitis. Other amebae cause granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), which is a more subacute and can even a non-symptomatic chronic infection. Ameobic meningoencephalitis can mimic a brain abscess, aseptic or chronic meningitis, or CNS malignancy.
Animal pathogens exist as facultative parasites. They are an exceptionally rare cause of meningoencephalitis.
The disease is associated with high rates of mortality and severe morbidity.
It was cause of death of the popular British TV presenter Christopher Price.
In May, 2009 former Premier of New South Wales (Australia) Morris Iemma was admitted to hospital with meningoencephalitis.
Recent medical research indicates that it was the cause of Mary Ingalls' (older sister of Laura Ingalls) blindness (not scarlet fever as the book indicates).
In popular culture
In the 2011 film Contagion, the pandemic disease kills when it causes meningoencephalitis in patients. The film's virus is named Meningoencephalitis Virus One (MEV-1).
In the 'House' episode Euphoria (Part 2), primary amoebic meningoencephalitis was the cause of Foreman's symptoms.
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- ^ Amebic Meningoencephalitis at eMedicine
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