Dr. Kamal Thapar, MD., PhD., FRCSC., FAANS
1200 Oakleaf Way, Suite A, Altoona, WI 54720

Brain Abscess

A brain abscess is an infection that accumulates within the brain as a result of bacteria, fungus, or parasite. The bacteria can spread from the initial site of the infection to the brain through the bloodstream.


A brain abscess can occur in any individual, but it is more common in individuals with the following conditions:

– Penetrating brain injury

– Dental infection

A brain abscess can also occur with spread from an infection occurring elsewhere in the body.


– Fever and chills

– Nausea and/or vomiting

– Headache

– Fatigue

– Change in level of cognition

– Weakness


An MRI of the brain is needed to confirm diagnosis of an abscess in the brain and to identify the size and location of any abscess. Additionally, other studies would be obtained to determine the cause of the abscess including blood work and blood cultures.


The goal of treatment is to identify the organism and eliminate the infection. Occasionally, determining the responsible organism requires a biopsy of the abscess. If the abscess is large and is causing significant pressure within the brain, surgery may be needed to drain and evacuate the abscess.