Prognosis of Encephalitis

In most cases of encephalitis, the symptoms of the condition are very mild and may last only for a few days. Some people may in fact have no symptoms at all. In such cases, the prognosis of encephalitis is very good. In most of these cases, the condition is contained on its own as the body's immune system eliminates the disease causing virus. However, in case the condition is severe and the symptoms are no longer mild, the prognosis changes. There are a lot of factors that affect the prognosis of encephalitis, especially when it is severe. The age of the patient is one of the most important of these factors.

The prognosis is usually very poor in young babies under the age of 12 months and adults over the age of 55. The immune status of the patient is also a very important consideration. Patients who have an impaired immune system would be at a greater risk.

Another important factor that may affect the prognosis of this condition is the presence of any preexisting neurological conditions. Men and women who have a history of neurological conditions may develop encephalitis more readily. The type of virus and its virulence is another factor that may affect the prognosis of encephalitis. In very severe cases, the inflammation inside the skull may put a lot of pressure on the brain stem, damaging it permanently. The brain stem is responsible for controlling some of the most vital functions of the body such as heartbeat and blood pressure. In case of severe pressure on the brain stem, the heart may stop beating and the person may eventually die due to cessation of vital bodily functions.