WebMD
Font Size
A
A
A

Brain Abscess

A brain abscess is a pocket of infection that forms in the brain. Depending on its size and location, a brain abscess may cause headaches, personality changes, one-sided weakness, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and seizures.

Brain abscesses are uncommon. They may be caused by:

  • The spread of infection from somewhere else in the head, such as the gums (gingivitis), mouth, nose, ear, or sinus.
  • A deep head wound that penetrates the brain.
  • Infection that has traveled through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body.

Treatment includes medicine to fight the infection and decrease swelling in the brain. In some cases a brain abscess requires surgical drainage.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised September 1, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.