Brain fungus as a life-threatening fungi infection
One of the most severe medical conditions caused by the fungal infection, notably by mucorales fungi, is a mucormycosis, or brain fungus. The disease is characterized by inflammation of brain featured by a range of severe symptoms and life-threatening consequences.
Causes of the infection
Although brain fungus is a rare infection, it is very dangerous and may be fatal. Healthy immunity usually suppresses the infection, and like any other type of fungi-caused diseases, mucormycosis is more likely to affect people who suffer from diabetes, leukemia, and lymphoma, have suppressed immune system, or are injured in natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, or tornadoes. Mucorales spores may be present in the air and in the soil and can affect not only brains, but lungs and sinuses. Brain fungus is not a contagious disease and the person may pick up the infection just from the air or soil. At first spores penetrate into the organism and then move to the brain.
Symptoms of mucormycosis
Fungus in brain is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- purulent nasal dark discharges, nasal stuffiness;
- swelling and protrusion of the eyes;
- cheeks redness;
- headache behind the eyes, usually in the one side of the head;
- facial pain;
- coughing and shortness of breath may be experienced sometimes;
- abdominal pain and vomiting are rare but still may occur.
If left untreated, brain fungus aggravates rapidly. It may destroy nose tissues, cause temporary or permanent blindness, paralysis, nerve damage, coma, and death. Blood clots may appear because of the invasion of fungus into the vascular system. If the patient suffers from AIDS or is immunocompromised, the probability of fatality increases significantly.
Diagnosis and treatment
It is of great importance to diagnose the disease at early stages, that’s why you should visit your doctor immediately after experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. At first doctor examines the medical history of the patient to see if he is at risk group, then he performs physical examination. However, these investigations are not reliable enough for diagnosis of brain fungus and in case if doctor suspects mucormycosis after performing this actions, a biopsy should be made to confirm the diagnose.
Consequences of the disease are life-threatening, so there should be no delay in treatment. The medicines should be administrated immediately after revealing the infection. Most common and effective medicine administrated is amphotericin B that kills fungi cells. Posaconazole may also be used as an alternative. The medicine is usually administrated for 4-6 weeks.
If brain fungus is provoked by some other illness, then underlying conditions should be treated thoroughly.
Surgical intervention is required in severe cases, involving removal of the infected tissues. The success of the treatment depends on the stage of the infection, that’s why it should be started as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against mucormycosis. To prevent brain fungus, people who are at risk of being infected should control the underlying illnesses, like uncontrolled diabetes, and to take measures for improving the immune system.
These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!