Brain is the central processing unit of our body and hence, a very vital organ. A normal healthy brain is important for us to perform our daily activities of living. Unfortunately, like any other organs or parts of our body, our brain also falls prey to various diseases. Some are mild and easily treatable, whereas some are fatal and can result in impairment of our brain function, coma and even death. In our BRAIN INFORMATION CENTER, we have covered lots of brain diseases and conditions, such as Acute Ischemic Stroke, Bacterial Meningitis, Brain Tumor, Canavan Disease, Cerebral Gigantism, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease, Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, Lewy Body Dementia, Narcolepsy etc. with their causes, symptoms, investigations and treatment. Given below is a brief overview on them. For more detailed reading, please click on the left side menu under our BRAIN INFORMATION CENTER.
Ischemic stroke occurs due to diminished blood supply to the brain, which in turn results from atherosclerosis or a blood clot causing a blockage in a blood vessel. Common causes for Ischemic Stroke include build up of atheroma within the artery walls and later on when a piece of this atheroma breaks and lodges in a smaller artery, it causes blockage of that artery and diminished blood supply. There are some drugs like amphetamines and cocaine, which cause narrowing of the blood vessels. Symptoms are loss of sensation, weakness, loss of vision or hearing, dizziness, slurred speech, loss of coordination etc. Depending on the cause, treatment is done and includes: Anticoagulants, clot dissolving medicines, mannitol and sometimes corticosteroids.
Meningitis is the infection of the meninges, which are the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The cause of Meningitis could be bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Meningitis can be acute, chronic or mild. The cause of bacterial meningitis is bacteria, which can be commonly found in our surroundings. Children between the ages of one month and two years and individuals with compromised immune system are at a higher risk for having Bacterial Meningitis. Other than this, individuals who have excessive alcohol consumption, having recurrent nose and ear infections, previous head trauma or pneumococcal pneumonia are more prone to bacterial meningitis. Symptoms include: High grade fever, headache, neck stiffness, irritability, seizures, drowsiness and stroke. Antibiotics are the main line of treatment.
Tumour in the brain, while not common, can be very fatal. One of the common symptoms is continuous or increasing headache due to increased intracranial pressure. Brain tumours are graded I, II, III and IV. With Grade I being benign; and Grade IV being malignant and very fatal. The cause of brain tumor is not known, but risk factors comprise of family history and ionizing radiation. Symptoms depend on the size, type and location of the tumor and include headache, seizures, vision changes, weakness in arms and legs and cognitive difficulties. Treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. To know more, please visit our BRAIN INFORMATION CENTER on the left side menu.
This condition is an autosomal recessive type of disorder, which occurs due to nerve cells injury in the brain. This is a common type of cerebral disease which can be found in infants. It is one of genetic disorders known as leukodystrophy. Symptoms start during infancy and advance quickly and include: Mental retardation, worsening of motor skills, feeding difficulties, compromised head control etc. There is no known treatment for this disease. Palliative and supportive treatment is given. Prognosis of this disease is not good.
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This is a rare genetic disorder characterized by excessive physical growth in the initial 2 to 3 years of a child's life. Other associated symptoms are: Mild mental retardation, autistic behavior, delay in motor skills, cognitive disturbances, dysarthria, speech problems and loss of muscle tone. This is not a fatal disease and with time, as the child grows, symptoms gradually dissipate and he/she regains their motor function. There is no known treatment for this disease except for palliative treatment.
CMT is a neurological disease and is also known as hereditary sensory and motor neuropathy. It comprises of a collection of impairments, which damage the peripheral nerves. The main cause is mutation in the genes resulting impairment of the peripheral nerves. Symptoms include: Leg muscle weakness, leg deformities, pain, and weakness in the upper extremities. Types of CMT are CMT-1, CMT-2, CMT-3, CMT-4, and CMT-X. There is no fixed treatment for this disease. However, physical therapy, occupational therapy and use of assisted devices help with the symptoms.
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This is a rare, but a fatal brain disorder. This disease commonly starts in late adult life, but advances very rapidly. Symptoms often start around 60 years of age and the patient often dies within a year of the onset of the symptoms. The early symptoms comprise of loss of memory, behavior change, coordination problems etc. Advanced symptoms include: Cognitive deterioration, weakness of extremities weakness, insomnia, blindness and eventually coma. The cause and treatment of this disease is not clear and the prognosis is extremely poor. For more detailed information on this condition and its categories, please refer to the left side menu under our BRAIN INFORMATION CENTER.
This is a sleep disorder where an individual's sleep pattern, body temperature system are completely different from a normal person. People who have this disorder commonly sleep after midnight and it is very difficult for them to get up early in the morning. The cause for this condition is not known; however, experts believe that there is a genetic connection to it. People who have had a head injury may also develop this disorder later on. Treatment comprises of light therapy and using medicines such as melatonin. With a disciplined sleep schedule and avoiding stimulants like caffeine, the prognosis is quite good.
This is a disease where the patient experiences continuous decline in his/her mental capability. This type of dementia comes second to the Alzheimer's Dementia. There is no known cause of this disease, but it is thought to be linked with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms include: Visual hallucinations, movement disorders, severely decreased function of the body, cognitive problems, sleep impairment and depression. There is no known treatment for this disease. Medicines are given to relieve symptoms. Alternative therapies, such as aromatherapy, are also beneficial.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disease where the brain is unable to maintain a normal sleep-wake cycle. Individuals suffering from this disease will have a disturbed sleep at night followed by an irregular sleep pattern in the day. Symptoms comprise of excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. The exact cause is not known. There is no clear treatment for this disease and treatment depends on the patient and his/her symptoms. To read more, please refer to our left side menu and read through our various topics under our BRAIN INFORMATION CENTER.
Other Brain Diseases & Conditions Which are Covered in This Section:
- Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) or Shy Drager Syndrome
- Carotid Sinus Syndrome or Carotid Hypersensitivity
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia or SCA
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post-Infectious Encephalitis
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
- Antalgic Gait
- Ataxic Gait
- Unsteady Gait
- Tuberculous Meningitis
- Viral Meningitis
- Know What is Wyburn-Mason Syndrome and its Treatment?
- Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure or Grand Mal Seizure