Meningitis as an infant...future problems?!
I had bacterial meningitis as a young baby and recovered about 6 months after diagnosis. I was in Germany training for some Army boxing and the pre fight medical got refused due to the fact that i had had meningitis as a baby.
Doctor said there could be brain scarring, as with anyone who contracts it at such a young age. I recently saw an RAF doctor to ask if i could have a brain scan in order to clear me for some mma sparring and in the long term future a contest or two but he basically said hes never heard of brain scarring and isnt worried one bit.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Ive never had any complications or problems health wise since having meningitis.
Female MMA Mod
I can't help you personally with this one but I'll try and find someone who can. PM me your email address and I'll take it from there!
I'll start off by saying that I'm an anaesthetist and work on Intensive Care (as well as covering MMA events), and through that work I've looked after a fair few patients with meningitis. However, I'm not a neurologist / brain surgeon / GP so may not see all the longer term problems that go with meningitis.
Having said that, I think I'm with the RAF doctor on this one. Meningitis can cause brain damage in the short term by increasing the pressure inside the skull at the time of infection, and this would reveal itself as any number of neurological symptoms - weakness, problems with sensation (touch, smell, taste, vision), problems with intelligence or function - when you recovered. If you contracted meningitis many years ago and have been absolutely fine since then, it's extremely unlikely that you've had any residual brain damage or 'brain scarring'. If you turned up to fight in an MMA event with that history, I wouldn't be concerned.
Even if you did suffer any brain damage at the time, the part of your brain that had been injured will have undergone autolysis / fibrosis like any other injured part of your body, and I wouldn't think you would be at increased risk of a brain injury just because you had this area of fibrosis. In an MMA fighter with a head injury, my main worry is about bleeding into the skull / brain, but I can't see how this would be more likely in someone with an area of very old brain damage.
I may of course be completely wrong (!) as this isn't my specialist area, so it's worth seeing what Rosi says, and maybe have a chat with your GP (assuming you're back in the UK).
Hope that helps!
GMC No. 6052934
Thank you very much for your response. It does make sense and I appreciate you both taking the time to clarify some points.
No probs, hope you get things sorted!