Most Common Diseases and Disorders of the Brain
Alcoholism, a chronic illness involving the excessive ingestion of alcohol. Alcoholism is thought to come from a combination of a wide range of physiological, psychological, social, and genetic factors. It is characterized by an emotional and often physical dependence on alcohol, and it frequently leads to brain damage or early death.
Altitude Sickness or Mountain Sickness, condition caused by reduced oxygen pressure at high altitudes, sometimes occurring in hikers due to rapid ascent to high altitudes.The common symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, and sometimes nausea.
Alzheimers Disease, is a progressive disease of the brain characterized by confusion, loss of memory, disorientation, restlessness, speech disturbances, inability to carry out normal movements, and hallucinations. It usually starts after age 65, but there is a rare and very aggressive form of the disease, known as early-onset Alzheimer's disease, that can affect people as young as age thirty. The doctors ability to diagnose Alzheimer's disease has improved over the years, but final diagnosis can be confirmed only at autopsy.
Amnesia, loss of memory. It may be caused by brain injury or cerebral arteriosclerosis, or by functional nervous disorders, such as hysteria. Amnesia may be total, with complete loss of recall; or partial, occurring only immediately before or after a traumatic event; or systematic, relating to a particular type or group of experiences. Amnesia is a symptom rather than a disease, and treatment attempts to determine and remove the basic cause.
Autism , is a disorder that impairs development of a persons ability to communicate, interact with other people, and maintain normal every- day activities. Symptoms of autism usually begin during infancy. Autistic infants may stiffen up or go limp when picked up by parents rather than clinging or cuddling up to them. Autistic infants often show little or no interest in other people and have trouble with social behaviors. Autistic children also have difficulties with language. Autism results from biological abnormalities in brain structure and function. Studies have found that autistic people have abnormally low blood flow to certain parts of the brain and reduced numbers of certain brain cells.
Concussion of the Brain, injury to the brain from a fall or a blow to the head, usually with loss of consciousness. When you have a concssion you do not want to take asprin for the pain. The doctors recommened that you do not let the person fall asleep. Pressure on the brain stem slows down your breathing and your pulse rate goes down. More symptoms include pallor, sweating, and a drop in blood pressure. Dizziness, nausea, and a dull, restless feeling often follow a return to consciousness. Aftereffects such as headaches, dizziness, and nervousness may continue for several days, weeks, or even years after the initial injury. A concussion may temporarily or permanently damage the nerve tissue, causing amnesia, irritability, and fatigue. Memory is sometimes affected. Recovery from a concussion is usually complete.
Epilepsy, called seizure disorder. It is a brain disorder that briefly interrupts the normal electrical activity of the brain. It causes seizures, by a variety of symptoms including uncontrolled movements of the body, disorientation or confusion, sudden fear, or loss of consciousness. Epilepsy can also result from a head injury, stroke, brain tumor, lead poisoning, genetic conditions, or severe infections like meningitis or encephalitis.
Fainting, dizziness or weakness accompanied by brief loss of consciousness, associated with insufficient oxygen in the brain. The cause is usually a disturbance in blood circulation due to fatigue, pain, shock, abnormal blood pressure, arterial blockage, or heart failure. The person fainting should be placed in a position that will quickly bring blood to the brain.
Headache, pain in any part of the head.The majority of headaches belong to one of three main groups: migraine, a recurrent, severe headache. Some headaches can be accompanied by nausea and sometimes loss or impaired vision. Most tension headaches can be treated with mild analgesics such as aspirin and acetaminophen.
Mental Retardation, disorder in which a persons overall intellectual functioning is well below average, with an intelligence of around 70 or less. People with mental retardation also have trouble with everyday situations. The impairment may interfere with learning, communication, self-care, independent living, social interaction, play, work, and safety. Mental retardation appears in childhood, before age 18.
Stroke, is damage to the brain from blockage in blood flow and loss of blood from blood vessels in the brain. Without oxygen and nutrients from blood in the circulatory system, sections of brain tissue quickly deteriorate or die, resulting in paralysis of limbs or organs controlled by the affected brain area. Rehabilitation from stroke requires help from neurologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other medical persons.