Abrain abscess is usually caused by infection with either bacteria or fungi.
If the immune systemis unable to killan infection, it will try to limit its spread byusing healthy tissue to form an Abscess ,to stop the pus infecting other tissue.
Infections of the brain are rare because the body has evolveda number of defences to protect this vital organ. One of these is the blood-brain barrier, a thick membrane that filters out impurities from blood before allowing it into your brain.
However, in some cases, germs can get through these defences and infect the brain.
Although the exactlocation of the original infection can't always be identified, the most common sources are described below.
In up to half of cases, the brain abscess occurs as a complication of a nearby infection in the skull, such as:
This used to be a major cause of brain abscesses, but because of improved treatments for infections, a brain abscess is now a rare complication of these kinds of infection.
Infections spread through the blood are thought toaccount for around one in four casesof brain abscesses.
People with a weakened immune system have a higher risk of developing a brain abscess from a blood-borne infection. This is because their immune system may not be capable of fighting off the initial infection.
You may have a weakened immune system if you:
The most commonly reported infections and health conditions that may cause a brain abscess are:
Direct trauma to the skull can also lead to a brain abscess and is thought to beresponsible for 1 in 10 cases.
The most commonly reported causes include:
In rare cases, a brain abscess can develop as a complication of neurosurgery.
Read about a brain abscesses, a pus-filled swelling in the brain. It's a rare and life-threatening condition, usually caused by infection or a severe head injury
Read about the causes of a brain abscess, including infections or severe head injuries leading to bacteria or fungi entering the brain tissue
Read about treating a brain abscess, which usually involves a combination of antibiotics or antifungals and surgery