Encephalitis diagnosis involves the doctor asking questions, performing a physical exam, and (possibly) ordering various tests. Early diagnosis is vital, as encephalitis symptoms can appear suddenly and escalate to brain damage, hearing and/or speech loss, blindness, or even death. Tools at a doctor's disposal when making an encephalitis diagnosis include neurological examinations, laboratory screening, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and computer-assisted imaging scans.
In order to make an encephalitis diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions to review activities of the past several days (such as recent exposure to insects or animals, any contact with ill people, or recent travel), perform a physical exam, and may order various tests.
Early encephalitis diagnosis is vital, as encephalitis symptoms can appear suddenly and escalate to brain damage, hearing and/or speech loss, blindness, or even death.
A neurological examination involves a series of tests designed to assess:
- Motor and sensory function
- Nerve function
- Hearing and speech
- Coordination and balance
- Mental status
- Changes in mood or behavior.
Doctors may test the function of the nervous system through tests of strength and sensation with the aid of items including a tuning fork, small light, reflex hammer, and pins.