What Happens When Fungus Attacks the Brain

Though not a common occurrence, fungal infections can sometimes reach the brain. But what happens when fungi attack the brain? In this article, we outline the different types of fungal infection that have the potential to reach the brain. In addition, we examine the devastating effects of what happens when fungi attack the brain.

What Type of Fungal Infection Can Attack the Brain?

The following fungal infections have the potential to affect the brain:

• Aspergillus:

Even though Aspergillus commonly occurs, only people with a suppressed immune system are likely to suffer from this fungal infection. After entering the body via the lungs, Aspergillus can spread throughout the body, including the brain. As a result, the patient may experience weakness, numbness, seizures, or focal deficits. In addition, Aspergillus can cause meningitis. Antifungal treatments are available, but the mortality rates are high.

• Candida albicans:

Candida can also spread to the brain and cause meningitis, and again, people with immune system issues are most at risk, including premature babies or people who’ve had surgery.

• Coccidioides immitis:

You find this infection in Central and South America as well as in deserts of the southwestern US. Depending on the severity of the infection, patients experience milder symptoms like valley fever or meningitis. The good news is that incidents of meningitis are very rare, in fact, only 100 out of 150,000 people get meningitis. Treatments are available, but it can take several weeks before the patient sees an improvement.

• Mucormycosis:

When this fungal infection reaches the brain, mortality rates are extremely high. Even though everyone regularly comes in contact with this strand, only people with immune system deficiencies are likely to develop the condition.

Final Thoughts

So, this is what happens when fungi attack the brain. In general, only people with immune system issues are likely to develop these devastating fungal brain infections.

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