Meningitis - Definition

Meningitis (pronounced meh-nen-JI-tiss) is an inflammation of the meninges (pronounced meh-NIN-jeez). The meninges are the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis is most commonly caused by infection (by bacteria, viruses, or fungi). It can also be caused by bleeding into the meninges, cancer (see cancer entry), diseases of the immune system, and other factors. The most dangerous forms of meningitis are those caused by bacteria. The disease is very serious and can be fatal.

Blood-brain barrier:
Cells within the blood vessels of the brain that prevent the passage of toxic substances from the blood into the brain.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF):
Fluid made in chambers of the brain that flows over the surface of the brain and the spinal cord. CSF provides nutrients to cells of the nervous system and provides a cushion for the structures of the nervous system.
The three-layer membranous covering of the brain and spinal cord.

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