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What bacterial or viral infections can cause psychological changes?

I remember reading several years ago about some type of infection that left the victim with a psychological problem (schizophrenia, paranoia, ?), but I can't remember the details. Does anyone have any idea?


Some more details: if I remember correctly, the infection caused temporary numbness of the body/skin (a few weeks?), but had no other outward symptoms.

4 Answers

  • Zelda
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Rabies, but it's almost invariably fatal within a couple weeks of the onset of symptoms.

    Pathogens that could infect the brain (that is, they cause encephalitis) could cause permanent damage of various sorts. It just depends on which part of the brain they damage. Eg. Herpes virus. (Though before anyone panics, herpes usually doesn't do that, especially not in a healthy, immunocompetent person.)

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  • 1 decade ago


    Syphilis is caused by a type of bacterium (Treponema pallidum) that usually enters the body through the mucous membranes. An infected person can pass the disease to others (is contagious) whenever a sore or a rash is present.

    The four stages of syphilis have different symptoms.

    Primary stage: During this stage of syphilis, a painless open sore called a chancre (pronounced "shanker") develops. Because syphilis is usually passed from person to person through sexual activities, chancres are often found in the genital area, anus, or mouth, but they may also be found wherever the bacteria entered the body.

    Secondary stage: A skin rash and other symptoms occur during the secondary stage, which begins 4 to 10 weeks after the initial infection. Secondary syphilis is highly contagious through direct contact with the mucous membranes or other surfaces affected by the skin rash.

    Latent stage: This stage is often called the hidden stage of syphilis because usually no symptoms are present. The latent stage is defined as the year after a person becomes infected. A person in early latent stage may be contagious. Many times, latent-stage syphilis is detected in a mother only after she gives birth to a child infected with syphilis (congenital syphilis).

    Late (tertiary) stage: If syphilis is not detected and treated in the early stages, problems can develop because of damage caused by having the syphilis bacteria in the body for so many years. These may include heart disorders, mental disorders, blindness, other problems associated with the nervous system, and even death.

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  • 1 decade ago
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Syphilis, and Bovine spongiform (mad cow disease in humans), syphilis will cause dementia and will get worse over time.

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