Overview of Infectious Diseases

An infection is an illness caused by the invasion of a virus or microorganism. The microorganisms are usually bacteria, but they also include animal parasites and fungi. Infections range from mild to very serious and can affect any part of the body, including the nervous system. When an infection invades the nervous system, it is referred to as a neurological infection. The most common neurological infections are meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord; encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain; and complications caused by the HIV virus which affects the nervous system, along with various other parts of the body.

The classical symptoms of infection (including neurological infections) are pain, swelling, redness, heat (either a fever or heat at the sight of the infection), and sometimes impaired function.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 02 Jan 2000

Last Modified: 15 Nov 2011