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Is my mother suffering from brain TB?

Q: My mother is 56 years old. Her MRI scan report shows that she has tuberculosis of the brain. Her condition is deteriorating day by day. She is on ATT. Are there any tests that can confirm that she is actually suffering from brain tuberculosis? The doctor says it is not brain cancer. My mother is not able to speak. Kindly advise.

A:Tuberculosis of the tissues covering the brain is known as tuberculous meningitis, which is a life threatening condition. In developed countries, tuberculous meningitis most commonly occurs among older people, whereas in developing countries, tuberculous meningitis is most common among children from birth to 5 years of age. Symptoms include fever, constant severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, and drowsiness that can lead to coma. Other symptoms include seizures, listlessness, loss of appetite and sensitivity to light. Tuberculosis also may infect the brain itself, forming a mass called a tuberculoma. The tuberculoma may cause symptoms such as headaches, seizures, or muscle weakness, and brain tumours have to be excluded since it is a space occupying lesion in the brain. Since you have not mentioned more details, it is difficult to confirm the type of infection. Symptoms can only suggest the diagnosis. The diagnosis is confirmed by imaging and laboratory investigations suggested by the treating doctor.

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