What Is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, and is sometimes referred to as “spinal meningitis”.
What are the meninges?
As a protective membrane, the three-layered meninges (made up of the pia mater, dura mater, and arachnoid mater) prevent infectious materials from coming into contact with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), protect the all-important brain and spinal cord from injury, and provide a space where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulates. The brain essentially “floats” in a sea of cerebrospinal spinal fluid between two layers of the meninges, and this provides shock absorption for this most essential of organs.
Bacterial, Viral & Fungal Meningitis
Meningitis is generally caused by a bacteria, virus or (rarely) a fungus. Determining the cause of the illness is crucial to its proper treatment. Viral meningitis is generally less severe than a bacterial infection, and affected individuals can often recover without specific treatment other than supportive measures.