Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Bruce J. Diamond
  • Stephanie Magou
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_564-4


Short Description or Definition

Meningitis is caused by microorganisms, either bacterial or viral, that invade the meninges, which comprise the three connective tissue membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (e.g., dura mater, pia mater, and the arachnoid) (Guyton and Hall 2006; Webster’s New Explorer Medical Dictionary 2006). While viral meningitis does not generally cause significant brain damage, bacterial forms can be potentially life-threatening. Brain damage is mediated by several mechanisms including inflammation of the meninges, which can interfere with blood circulation or the flow of cerebral spinal fluid through subarachnoid space resulting in hydrocephalus (Carlson 2007).


The most common forms of meningitis include meningococcal (about 40% of cases), pneumococcal, and Haemophilus influenzae infections (see Table 1).
Table 1

This table provides information on categories of meningitis, disease course, and...

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References and Readings

  1. Aminoff, M. J., Greenberg, D. A., & Simon, R. P. (2005). Clinical neurology. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA