CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES AND DISORDERS
Section I. DISEASES OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
Most diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) are disabling or life-
threatening. Your prompt recognition of the signs and symptoms of these diseases will
help the patient get prompt treatment and make recovery easier and faster. Many of
these conditions can affect a person of any age.
a. Definition of Meningitis. This CNS disease is an acute inflammation of the
meninges of the brain or the spinal cord. All three meningeal membranes--the dura
mater, the arachnoid, and the pia mater--may be affected.
b. Cause of Meningitis. The inflammation may be caused by any one of the
following: pyrogenic bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, spirochetes, or viruses. Sometimes
an upper respiratory infection (URI) is the primary cause of the illness.
c. Sign/Symptoms of Meningitis. Signs and symptoms are similar to those of
an upper respiratory infection. Included are the following:
Anorexia (loss of appetite).
(10) Coma may develop as the illness progresses.