How long does it take to respond to TB meds with TB meningitis?

My brother in law is in the hospital with TB meningitis. He was admitted 5 weeks ago with meningitis. When the TB Meningitis diagnosis was discoverd a week later he was already in a comatose state. It has been almost 4 weeks since the TB medication was started and he has not improved. From the most recent MRI, the inflammation and infection to the brain and spinal cord seem to be worse. He continues to breathe on a ventilator, has a feeding tube, is unable to follow commands and his intracranial pressure is still elevated. He is scheduled to receive a permanent shunt in his brain this morning. He has run a fever off an on, his respiratory rate is elevated off and on and is experiencing posturing in his limbs. Has anyone had a similar experience? Is this the normal course of TB meningitis? How long did it take from start of TBmedication until there seemed to be some improvement?

Any help with the progress of this terrible condition would be helpful. We are in a great hospital with an excellent neuro department. The problem is that they have never treated TB meningitis and are basing their treatment on studies. TB meningitis is very rate in the US.

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  • I wish I had good news to offer, or even an answer. I have been a nurse for a number of years, and have read about TB Meningitis, but that is all. While working on MPH, I did study a bit more intensely into TB. I once saw TB in Hip infection, post surgical, and realize, TB bacteria can attach most any source. I know it usually takes several weeks of continued treatment to kill the TB bacteria. There are multiple issues involved, such as the sensitivity of the TB bacteria to antibiotics, and which antibiotic might be used. Best wishes to you and your family in this most trying time for all of you. Please keep us posted how he is doing.

  • How's your brother in law now?

  • My mother has similar condition. How's your brother in law now?

  • I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I can only imagine what you must be going through. It has been 2 years and 4 months since my brother in law was diagnosed. He was in a coma for around 30 days. When he came home from hospital after an almost 3 month hospital stay he was in a hospital bed, could not speak much or eat. Compared to those days he is remarkable. He made great strides in the first year physically. Physically the only remainder is a slower walk. Mentally he has continued to improve over the past 2 years. He still suffers from some memory loss (short and long term) but much better than last year. He still does not have certain reflexes or decision making skills, because of these he may never live alone. We have learned that your brain slowly and remarkably heals. I pray that your mother will improve and live a long happy life. It is difficult being in a medical situation where the doctors are looking for just as many answers as you are.

  • Thank you so much for your wishes. I wish everything will be fine soon

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