The brain and spinal cord are covered by 3 thin membranes, the dura mater, the pia mater and the arachnoid. These membranes are called the “meninges”. Meningitis is an inflammation of these membranes and the cause is almost always an infection due to a viral agent or a bacterial agent.

Viral meningitis is more common than the bacterial type. Viral meningitis is usually less severe and more benign. Meningitis caused by a bacterial agent can be very serious and can lead death if not treated promptly and properly. The outbreaks of meningitis in young persons in school or college which often make headlines is usually of the bacterial type and hence the concern because it can be a very serious illness. Continue Reading


Encephalitis is an inflammatory condition within the brain tissues. It differs from meningitis, which is inflammation of the covering of the brain. The most common cause of this inflammation is an infection due to a virus, bacteria or fungus. Encephalitis can be a life-threatening condition; however, therapy with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents is often extremely effective. The severity and speed at which the inflammation develops impact on the seriousness of any neurological symptoms that may occur.

Headache is only one of these symptoms. The headache due to encephalitis may be extremely severe, lasting for a considerable time after signs an active inflammatory process has resolved.