The brain is a direct target for certain infections, and may also be indirectly affected by systemic bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections and their treatment. Neurological infections can be rapid in onset, such as bacterial meningitis, causing fevers, acute headache, mental status changes, and must be considered emergencies. Other slower growing infections can be brain abscesses that have spread locally from dental, sinus or ear infections. Symptoms of a brain abscess can be a headache and possibly focal weakness or visual changes. Patients who have had neurosurgery can also develop infections postoperatively with signs of headache or drainage from the wound. Treatment of any of these often requires collaboration amongst the neurologists, neurosurgeons, and infectious disease specialists.
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