Cerebral toxoplasmosis or Toxoplasmosis Brain is an infection in the brain caused by a parasite of the type Toxoplasma gondii (T. Gondii). Infectious diseases caused by T. Gondii are generally referred to as toxoplasmosis. T. Gondii is mainly transmitted to humans through cat feces, or it can end up in humans who eat meat, vegetables, or fruit contaminated with cat feces.
When it enters the human body, the Toxoplasma capsule can reside in various human body tissues such as muscles, eyes, brain, and heart. If the immune system is good, Toxoplasma rarely causes significant symptoms that make the body sick. However, in patients with weak immune systems, such as HIV sufferers and pregnant women, the Toxoplasma capsule can be activated and cause infections, one of which is brain infection, which is a serious condition.
Toxoplasmosis Brain Symptoms
Symptoms of cerebral toxoplasmosis include:
- Chronic headaches
- Paralyzed one side of the body
- Memory loss or impaired thinking
- Decreased consciousness, ranging from confusion to coma
Toxoplasmosis Brain Diagnosis
To establish the diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis, it is necessary to carry out the following examinations:
- Complete physical examination. Includes neurological examination
- Blood test. To check antibody levels against toxoplasmosis, HIV testing if the patient has never been previously diagnosed, and also CD4 cell levels in patients who have been diagnosed with HIV.
- Radiological examinations such as CT scan and MRI of the head. MRI is considered more sensitive in diagnosing brain masses due to toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis Brain Treatment
If left untreated, cerebral toxoplasmosis can be life-threatening. If the diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis is established, the therapy given is a combination of antibiotics, such as sulfadiazine, pyrimethamine, and leucovorin. Clindamycin class of antibiotics can also be given instead of sulfadiazine.
These antibiotic drugs are divided into two phases of administration, namely initial and maintenance. Re-evaluation in the form of blood laboratory tests or a CT scan of the head may be needed to determine the response to therapy and whether the patient can be declared cured. In some cases, steroids may also be needed, especially if the toxoplasmosis mass in the brain is quite large and the symptoms are more severe.
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