(11) Brudzinski's sign. The abrupt neck flexion in the supine patient causes
involuntary flexion of the knees. When passive flexion of the lower limb on one side is
made, a similar movement is seen in the opposite limb. Another name for Brudzinski's
sign is contralateral sign.
d. Treatment of Meningitis. Treat the symptoms and perform necessary life-
supporting measures. Usually, the patient is treated as follows:
(1) Usually, antibiotics are given intravenously for a period of time (often two
weeks). Oral antibiotics are given after these medications. Appropriate oral antibiotics
include penicillin, tetracycline, or erythromycin.
If there is intracranial pressure (ICP), mannitol may be given. This medication
should relieve pressure on the brain.
(2) Other medications which can be given include anticonvulsants if needed
or a sedative to reduce restlessness. Aspirin or acetaminophen can be given to relieve
headache and fever.
(3) Supportive measures include bed rest, lowering of body temperature,
and measures to prevent dehydration.
If the patient's nasal cultures are positive, isolate him.
Treat any other conditions such as endocarditis or pneumonia.
a. Definition of Encephalitis. This disease is defined as an inflammation of the
brain due to a direct invasion by a virus. Lymphocytes (a white blood cell which has
formed in lymphoid tissue) filter into the brain tissues and the leptomeninges (pia mater
and arachnoid) and cause cerebral edema, degeneration of the brain's ganglion cells,
and nerve cell destruction. Between World War I and the Depression, a type of
encephalitis called lethargic encephalitis occurred from an unknown cause. The
disease is rare today, but the term "sleeping sickness" still exists. You may find people
who refer to all types of encephalitis by this term today.
b. Cause of Encephalitis. Encephalitis is caused by arthropod-borne viruses in
rural areas. In cities, encephalitis can occur after mumps, influenza, chicken pox, or