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Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2009 Nov;2(6):1-7. doi: 10.1177/1756285609337975.

Pathophysiology and treatment of bacterial meningitis.

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Department of Neurology, Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency requiring immediate diagnosis and immediate treatment. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the most common and most aggressive pathogens of meningitis. Emerging antibiotic resistance is an upcoming challenge. Clinical and experimental studies have established a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms resulting in brain damage, sequelae and neuropsychological deficits. We summarize the current pathophysiological concept of acute bacterial meningitis and present current treatment strategies.


bacterial meningitis; dexamethasone; meningococci; meningoencephalitis; pneumococci

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