Brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis are fortunately not very common, but they need rapid diagnosis and treatment in hospital to minimise the harm that can be done if left untreated.
When diagnosis is delayed, profound brain injuries can be the outcome affecting memory and cognitive function, speech and communication, mobility, continence, insight and many other facets of ordinary life.
I have seen many patients suffering with these after-effects of severe brain infection and I have helped sufferers and carers to deal with the profound neuropsychiatric complications.
Individuals can present to neuropsychiatry with brain involvement after bacterial infections, viral infections such as HSV, HIV, neuropsychiatric lupus and many other conditions, which can all cause severe disturbance to mental health, as well as many physical symptoms.
Careful assessment by an experienced neuropsychiatrist is essential.