Definition

What are brain diseases?

Brain disease or encephalopathy refers to any degenerative disease of the brain, it is often classified into:

  • Circulatory pathologies: disorders that affect the brain structures related to brain function. Significant impairments in cognition and physiological function or death may occur due to any damage of the brain.
  • Neurological pathologies: diseases that relate to the nervous system, neurotransmission diseases or degenerative disorders.

How common are brain diseases?

These health conditions are extremely common. The cause can be either genetical or completely random, as some diseases often affect more females than males, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) usually occur in males.

It can affect patients at any age, especially in children with an infectious condition of the brain called “encephalitis”. Brain conditions can also be documented in the elderly and people with weakened immune system (i.e. those with HIV/AIDS, cancer or diabetes.)

It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of brain diseases?

Brain injuries are often caused by blunt trauma. Trauma can damage brain tissue, neurons, and nerves. This damage affects your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body. Examples of brain injuries include:

  • Hematomas
  • Blood clots
  • Contusions, or bruising of brain tissue
  • Cerebral edema, or swelling inside the skull
  • Concussions
  • Strokes

Examples of the symptoms of a brain injury include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Speech difficulty
  • Bleeding from the ear
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with concentration

Later, you may develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • A low heart rate
  • Pupil dilation
  • Irregular breathing

Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the size and location of the tumor. The most common symptoms of brain tumors are:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in personality
  • Difficulty with movement or balance
  • Changes in your hearing, speech, or vision

Some brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may develop as you age. They can slowly impair your memory and thought processes. Other diseases, such as Tay-Sachs disease, are genetic and begin at an early age. Other common neurodegenerative diseases include:

  • Huntington’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • All forms of dementia

Some of the more common symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases include:

  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • A loss of inhibition
  • Mood changes

Mental disorders, or mental illnesses, are a large and diverse group of conditions that affect your behavior patterns. Some of the most frequently diagnosed mental disorders are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

The symptoms of mental disorders vary based on the condition. Different people can experience the same mental disorders very differently. You should talk to your doctor if you notice a change in your behavior, thought patterns, or moods.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes brain diseases?

Brains diseases result from many etiologies that anyone can think of, and well known by social-news updating:

  • Atherosclerosis which aims to cerebral vessels.
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Blockage in brain vessels
  • Ischemic injuries
  • Burst of brain vessels
  • Infection
  • Neoplasm/brain tumors
  • Dementia of neurons

Risk factors

What increases my risk for brain diseases?

There are many risk factors for brain diseases, such as:

  • Gender: Men are more prone to brain diseases caused from an accident
  • Heredity:
  • Bad habits:
    • High cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking
    • Physical inactivity – Obesity, diabetes
    • High levels of homocysteine and lipoprotein; Low level of HDL (good cholesterol) due to unhealthy diet versus lifestyle.
  • Infectious diseases
  • Traumatic/Ischemic injuries
  • Older age and family history

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

 

How is brain diseases diagnosed?

Nowadays, technologies have been applied to brain diseases diagnosis. Highly sensitive paraclinical features have given a hand to accurately indicate screening approach so that complications could be avoided:

  • Regular/ schedule tests such as complete blood count (CBC), blood sugar level and total lipid profile should be carried out for screening assessment.
  • CT scan and MRI or image diagnosis can be used for differential diagnosis between ischemic and hemorrhage injuries for appropriate approaches. MRI is more outstanding because of detecting specific hemorrhagic area of the brain or
  • Others include EEG, ECG, cardiac echography, skull echography, etc. Occasionally, doctors can indicate this to diagnose the causes or injury mechanisms.

How is brain diseases treated?

Many types of brain diseases and brain dysfunctions required many types of treatments. These treatments can work on their own or can be combined such as:

  • Drug therapy
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapies

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage brain diseases?

To reduce the chance acquiring brain diseases in the future, you should:

  • Try to lower all the risk factors that are controllable
  • The most important one is doing something active within 30min a day on most days of the week
  • Eat and drink healthy, quit alcohol and salty or fatty products.
  • If you are a woman, do not drink more than one drink a day.
  • If you are a man, do not drink more than two drinks a day and try the same was mentioned above.
  • If you are taking medicines, please take exactly as directed. Medicines are often important to prevent stroke.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: March 8, 2017 | Last Modified: March 8, 2017

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