Brain diseases: Causes & Symptoms

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Brain diseases are life-changing for the people who suffer from it, as well as for their loved ones. The brain disorders may occur in a variety of forms and across age groups. According to the American Brain Foundation, 1 in 6 people across the world suffer from some sort of brain disease.

What are Brain Diseases?

Brain diseases are characterized by the malfunctioning of the brain or central nervous system, which is the superpower hub that controls the functioning of the entire body. A healthy brain works promptly and triggers the right connection at the correct time automatically. A breakdown or problem in the brain may disrupt that functioning and may lead to devastating consequences such as vision loss, paralysis, loss of brain cells, and disturbed brain and nerve functioning.

Brain diseases are a terrifying spectrum which comes in different forms such as tumors, seizures, infections and trauma affecting different parts of the brain. The most common brain diseases which are detected in people across the world are:

Causes of Brain diseases

The exact cause of brain diseases may vary for different cases. However, scientific findings have revealed that brain health is significantly affected by the environmental, psychological and biological factors and contribute towards the progression of psychiatric disorders.

Biological Aspects

According to MedlinePlus, genetic brain disease is due to a mutation in a gene. Some examples include leukodystrophies, Tay-Sachs disease, and Wilson disease. Prenatal damage or damage caused to the fetus during the stint of pregnancy as a consequence of various reasons such as nutritional deficiencies, exposure to excessive stress, alcohol or drug intake is another major cause of brain diseases in the offspring.

Other biological factors like poor general health, nutrient deficient diet, brain injuries, excess exposure to toxins, and a chemical imbalance in the brain. Brain health can also be affected by infections such as HIV, ear infections, medications side effects, or excessive consumption of substances like caffeine, drug or alcohol.

Psychological Aspects

Psychological factors may include excessive emotional stress, physical or sexual abuse, a feeling of abandonment, and any negative conditions that promote continuous distress. Basically, it largely depends upon an individual’s response towards stress which determines the role of a psychological factor in the development of mental disorders. It may influence anyone from a small child to a well-grown adult. Children neglected by parents or individuals neglected by peers may give rise to the condition of emotional detachment and may eventually contribute to the development of a state of depression or anxiety.

Environmental Aspects

The environmental aspect is closely related to the psychological feature and complements each other in the progression of brain diseases. Dealing with relationship issues such as parental conflict, parental aggression, divorce, losing a loved one, handling poverty or financial issues, having low self-confidence and many other influencing factors in the environment may draw a person towards mental disorders such as depression.

Symptoms of Brain Diseases

The symptoms of brain disease may broadly differ on the basis of specific conditions ranging from mild indications to a severe impact. The symptoms of brain diseases which are not so severe in nature include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Photosensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Double vision

The more intense or serious symptoms of brain disorders include numbness in the limbs, dilated pupils, seizures, spasms, and incoherent speech.

One should never ignore the signals which the body sends. For example, you may suffer from continuous and recurrent severe headaches. This may indicate migraine headache, tension headache, an inflammatory headache or an underlying serious concern such as aneurysm or weakening of artery walls which may burst. Proper diagnosis is utmost critical to evade lethal consequences. So listen to your body and do take advice from your doctor when you have recurring health problems.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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