What is a brain lesion?
A brain lesion is an abnormality seen on a brain-imaging test, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT). On CT or MRI scans, brain lesions appear as dark or light spots that don’t look like normal brain tissue.
Usually, a brain lesion is an incidental finding unrelated to the condition or symptom that led to the imaging test in the first place.
A brain lesion may involve small to large areas of your brain, and the severity of the underlying condition may range from relatively minor to life-threatening.
How common is a brain lesion?
Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Which signs and symptoms can a brain lesion usually be associated with?
Related signs and symptoms include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite
- Vision changes or eye pain
- Changes in mood, personality, behavior, mental ability, and concentration
- Memory loss or confusion
- Difficulty moving
What causes a brain lesion?
Often, a brain lesion has a characteristic appearance that will help your doctor determine its cause. Sometimes the cause of the abnormal-appearing area cannot be diagnosed by the image alone, and additional or follow-up tests may be necessary.
Among the known possible causes of brain lesions are:
- Brain aneurysm (a bulge in an artery in your brain)
- Brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) — an abnormal formation of brain blood vessels
- Brain tumor (both cancerous and noncancerous)
- Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
While brain trauma of any sort may result in a concussion as well as a brain lesion, concussions and brain lesions are not the same thing. Concussions more often occur without ever causing any changes on the CT or MRI and are diagnosed by symptoms rather than imaging tests.
The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of a brain lesion. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
What increases my risk for a brain lesion?
There are many risk factors for a brain lesion, such as:
- Family history of brain lesions. The risk increases if someone else in the family has had the condition.
- Vascular conditions, such as stroke, high blood pressure, and cerebral artery aneurysms
- Trauma to the brain, which can cause internal bleeding. If not remedied, it could lead to death.
- Infections, harmful germs or bacteria in the brain. These can cause diseases like meningitis and encephalitis (both types of swelling (inflammation) of the brain).
- Tumors that either start in the brain (primary tumors) or travel there (metastatic) via blood or lymphatic vessels
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. These result when the body’s antibodies start to attack the body’s own tissues, such as those tissues in the brain.
- Plaques, or excess build-up of abnormal protein in the brain tissues or in the blood vessels, slowing down the supply of blood to the brain, as seen in clogged arteries. Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that affects a person’s memory, thinking and behavior, develops because of plaques in brain tissues. Multiple sclerosis can also cause plaques in the brain secondary to damaged tissue.
- Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals that increase the chance of tumors and lesions in the brain
- Toxins, such as excessive amounts of alcohol or cigarette smoke, in the body. Other toxic substances are elevated levels of ammonia and urea in the body due to kidney issues (can affect brain function but may not show discrete brain lesions).
- Poor diet, especially eating foods with excess fats and cholesterol
Please consult with your doctor for further information.
When to see your doctor
When should I see my doctor?
You should contact your doctor if you or your loved one has any of the symptoms mentioned above.
On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage a brain lesion?
Unfortunately, home remedies are not likely to have any effect on a brain lesion.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Brain Lesions: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments. https://www.webmd.com/brain/brain-lesions-causes-symptoms-treatments#2-8. Accessed January 3, 2019.
Brain Lesions: Management and Treatment. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17839-brain-lesions/management-and-treatment. Accessed January 3, 2019.
Brain lesions. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/brain-lesions/basics/definition/sym-20050692. Accessed January 3, 2019.
Review Date: January 3, 2019 | Last Modified: January 3, 2019