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Tuberculosis

Tuberclosis in the Brain

05/15/2009

Question:

My husband has been diagonised with a growth on the frontal lobes of the brain i.e left and right. This was determined after undergoing scan test in the brain and the doctor said it had been caused by prolonged tuberclosis in the body that has gotten into the brain. Now any time we make love after he started the medication he is getting seizures and hallucinations. Otherwise he is okay when we dont make love. He smokes and drinks beer even when undergoing treatment, so what could be the problem and is he going to get well? Thank you.

Answer:

Seizures and hallucinations may be a serious complication of tuberculosis lesions (or growth) in the brain. Your husband should consult a neurologist for evaluation of his seizures and hallucination as soon as possible.

Depending on where the lesions are in the brain, they can cause various symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations. I am not sure how long he has been diagnosed with tuberculosis of the brain and how long he has been on treatment. Sometimes a follow-up scan of the head is needed to re-evaluate the lesions if a person is experiencing new or an increase in symptoms. If the symptoms are from tuberculosis, treatment of his tuberculosis and additional medications for the seizures and hallucinations should improve the symptoms. Based on the evaluation, your neurologists or tuberculosis doctor should be able to let you know what types of activities to avoid.

Seizures and hallucinations may also be side effects from medications or other substances such as alcohol. It is best not to drink while taking tuberculosis medications as this can increase the side effects of the medications. Of course, we would also advise quitting smoking as well. Tobacco not only can lead to lung cancer, but it can cause lung damage that increases the risk for tuberculosis of the lung.

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Response by:

Shu-Hua   Wang, MD, MPH&TM Shu-Hua Wang, MD, MPH&TM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Assistant Professor of The Division of Epidemiology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Larry S Schlesinger, MD Larry S Schlesinger, MD
Professor:
Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics
Microbiology Administration
Environmental Health Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University