Central Nervous System Infections
15 May 2017
05 November 2017
23 January 2018 (online)
Central nervous system (CNS) diseases should be well-recognized by physicians, due to both the potential morbidity and mortality that they cause and the inherent difficulties involved in their treatment. CNS diseases include meningitis, encephalitis, and brain abscesses. They are caused by infectious agents (mainly bacterial and viral germs) as well as by immune alterations. Most of the infectious diseases may be prevented by immunization. Vaccination is the most effective tool we have to prevent CNS infections in children.
In the special issue, the researchers analyzed the impact of the introduction of the heptavalent and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on the burden of pneumococcal diseases in children.
In meningitis survivors, deafness, seizures, and neuropsychological impairment are well-studied complications. Other sequelae, such as hypothalamic–pituitary dysfunction following CNS infectious diseases, may be underestimated if not well-recognized. In the special issue, researches focused on endocrine complications of meningitis, analyzing the available literature on the field.
At onset, infectious diseases may present signs and symptoms similar to autoimmune pathologies. Nevertheless, the course and the treatment are generally different so that an early recognition is fundamental to start the appropriate therapy and avoid mortality and morbidity. In this special issue, autoimmune encephalitis in the pediatric age is analyzed.
Compared with meningitis and encephalitis, brain abscess is less frequent in the pediatric age. Nevertheless, it should be promptly recognized to prevent mortality and morbidity. A multispecialist team is often required in the management of brain abscess as reported in this special issue.
Finally, the issue includes an unusual case report focused on a child who died due to fatal necrotizing encephalitis. Clinical cases may be very useful to share experience among pediatricians.