Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Brain Abscesses

  • Michael R. VillanuevaEmail author
  • Susan K. Johnson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_540


Brain abscesses are an intracranial mass of immune cells, pus (i.e., collection of dead neutrophils), and other materials stemming from a bacterial or fungal infection.

Current Knowledge


Brain abscesses may arise by direct infection of organisms, local extension from adjacent focal areas, or distribution by way of the bloodstream. Moreover, they form as an inflammatory response to bacteria or fungal infections within the brain. This inflammatory response leads to a localization of infected brain cells, immune cells, and microorganisms within an area of the brain (Kumaret al. 2014). This area becomes encapsulated by an abscess wall, which is formed by adjacent cells to prevent further infection of neighboring structures. This results in the formation of an encapsulated, purulent (pus-filled) mass within the brain. While this inflammatory response can serve to protect the brain from further injury, it can also have significant negative consequences. If the abscess...

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References and Readings

  1. Kumar, V., Abbas, A., & Fausto, N. (2014). Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease (9th ed.). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA