Led by Jennifer Lyons, MD, the Division of Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases cares for patients with primary neurological infections or who have neurological complications of systemic infections. We work closely with other specialties to diagnose and manage these conditions, whether as inpatients or outpatients.
Many infectious and inflammatory diseases can affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction (the connection between the nerve ending and the muscle), or the muscles. This can occur in the setting of concomitant disease elsewhere in the body, or it can be isolated to the nervous system. Depending on what part of the nervous system is affected and which disease is the diagnosis, symptoms can vary widely.
Distinguishing between an infectious and an inflammatory disorder in the nervous system is sometimes complex, as some conditions are difficult to diagnose, and additionally there can be a great deal of overlap. For instance, some infections trigger an exaggerated inflammatory reaction that causes neurological damage independently of or cooccurring with the infection, and in some inflammatory conditions, new issues that arise may relate to the disease itself or may be infectious in the setting of an abnormal immune system. These distinctions are of fundamental importance, as management and outcomes can be impacted by timely initiation of definitive therapy. Each member of our team brings both specific expertise and a great breadth of knowledge to each patient, and we work closely with our colleagues in related specialties to ensure excellence in patient care.