July 22 is World Brain Day . This part of our body is considered “the king organ”, since it is like the center of operations that governs our body and important functions such as breathing and heart rate, perception and movement, emotions, learning and planning. That is why we would like to tell you about some of the most common diseases and disorders suffered by this important organ and how to prevent them. We tell them based on their cause.
- Metabolic diseases
When there are metabolic diseases, these can cause great damage to the brain if they are not treated early, since this organ is deprived of essential elements for its development. An example is phenylketonuria, a disease that is due to the lack of an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxidase. This prevents phenylalanine from being metabolized into thyroxine, causing the former to accumulate toxicly in the nervous system.
Cranioencephalic traumatisms can cause certain conditions in the brain due to the consequences of both the blow and the backlash that occurs in the opposite part of the part of the brain that receives the blow, when bouncing against the skull. These can be:
- Brain infections
- Hypersensitization of some neuronal groups resulting in epilepsy
- Rupture of neuronal connections and diffuse brain damage
- Neurodegenerative diseases
These diseases cause a progressive deterioration of the nervous system and neuronal death, these being irreversible. All this has an impact on the cognitive performance of the individual, so that he gradually loses his faculties until his death. The best known are:
- Those that are included in the group of dementias that mainly affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s; or diseases that cause them like Parkinson’s.
- Those that affect the whole nervous system such as multiple sclerosis and lateral myotrophic sclerosis
Epilepsy is due to an unbalanced functioning of neuronal groups, which are hypersensitized and react abnormally to stimulation. This causes the person to suffer alterations such as:
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Difficulties of memory or anomie
- Alterations in executive functions
The origin of this disorder can be found in a large number of conditions such as injuries or accidents, encephalitis, strokes, tumors or malformations. In some cases its origin can not be determined.
- Neoplastic diseases such as brain tumors
A tumor is an uncontrolled and expansive growth of the tissues of some part of our body, they can be benign or malignant and cause a great variety of symptoms depending on the affected area. In the brain, although the tumor is not carcinogenic, it can be dangerous since it causes a compression of the tumor against the skull.
There are different types of tumors according to the cell from which they arise and the degree of malignancy. Some examples are: astrocytomas, oligoastrocytomas, ependymomas and glioblastomas.
- Diseases and genetic alterations
These have their origin in genetic factors that alter the functioning and morphology of the brain, to mutations in some gene and usually manifest from early stages of the development of the individual. Some examples are:
- The fragile x syndrome
- Down’s Syndrome
- Alterations in neuronal migration that occurs in fetal development
- Huntington’s disease: neurodegenerative disease characterized by changes in personality, involuntary movements and progressive loss of executive functions.
- Diseases caused by an infection
The presence of infections in the brain can cause problems in its functioning because the brain is inflamed and compressed against the skull:
- You can stop receiving substances that you need.
- It can increase the intracranial pressure.
- It can be affected by harmful substances that affect its functioning or produce a neuronal death.
Some of the most common disorders are:
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), whose symptoms are: fever, weakness, malaise, irritability, fatigue, seizures or even death.
- Meningitis or inflammation of the meninges surrounding the brain.
- HIV infection or syphilis
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: disease caused by an infection caused by prions or proteins without nucleic acid. It causes dementia.
- Cerebrovascular diseases
These are produced by an alteration in the functioning of the network of blood vessels that supply the brain and provide oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This malfunction can cause death of brain areas that depend on the affected vessels and location. Within this type of alterations we can find two types:
- Ischemia: the obstruction of a blood vessel, usually due to embolic or trophic accidents.
- Hemorrhages: bloodshed over brain areas, mainly due to ruptures of cerebral aneurysms.
Behind coronary heart disease and cancer, stroke is the most common cause of death in industrialized countries. These pathologies result in a series of sequelae that will affect the functionality and quality of life of the patient.
The most common causes with stroke and anoxia.
This pathology is very frequent in the population. It presents as a type of recurrent headache of variable intensity. It usually produces a throbbing and / or throbbing sensation and usually affects one side of the head. Other symptoms are:
- Sensitivity to light, smells or noise.
These are the most common conditions that our brain can suffer, an organ so important for our daily functioning. To prevent them or to put an effective and early remedy, we advise you to have at hand a health insurance with all the medical coverage you need. And enjoy a good summer reading.