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Brain Diseases

Brain Diseases: Vascular (Blood Vessels) Conditions continued...

Brain aneurysm: An artery in the brain develops a weak area that swells like a balloon. A brain aneurysm rupture causes a stroke, due to bleeding. 

Subdural hematoma: Bleeding on the surface of the brain. A subdural hematoma may exert pressure on the brain, causing neurological problems. 

Epidural hematoma: Bleeding between the skull and tough (dura) lining of the brain. The bleeding is typically  from an artery, usually shortly after a head injury. Initial mild symptoms can progress rapidly to unconsciousness and death, if untreated. This is also referred to as an extradural hematoma. 

Intracerebral hemorrhage: Any bleeding inside the brain. 

Cerebral edema: Swelling of the brain tissue which can be due to different causes, including response to injury or electrolyte imbalances.


Brain Diseases: Autoimmune Conditions

Brain diseases linked to autoimmune conditions include: 

Vasculitis: An inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain. Confusion, seizures, headaches, and unconsciousness can result. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS): The immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the body's own nerves. Muscle spasm, fatigue, and weakness are symptoms. MS may occur in periodic attacks or be steadily progressive.

Brain Diseases: Neurodegenerative Conditions

Brain diseases linked to neurogenerative conditions include: 

Parkinson's disease: Nerves in a central area of the brain degenerate slowly, causing problems with movement and coordination. A tremor of the hands is a common early sign. 

Huntington's disease: An inherited nerve disorder that affects the brain. Dementia and difficulty controlling movements (chorea) are its symptoms. 

Pick's disease (frontotemporal dementia): Over years, large areas of nerves at the front and sides of the brain are destroyed, due to buildup of an abnormal protein. Personality changes, inappropriate behavior, and loss of memory and intellectual ability are symptoms. Pick's disease is steadily progressive. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): ALS is also called Lou Gehrig's disease. In ALS, nerves controlling muscle function are steadily destroyed. ALS steadily progresses to paralysis and inability to breathe without mechanical assistance. Cognitive function is generally not affected. 

Dementia: A decline in cognitive function, due to death or malfunction of nerve cells in the brain. Conditions in which nerves in the brain degenerate, as well as alcohol abuse and strokes, can cause dementia. 

Alzheimer's disease: For unclear reasons, nerves in certain brain areas degenerate, causing progressive loss of memory and mental function. The buildup of abnormal tissue in brain areas -- often called tangles and plaques -- is believed to contribute to the disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on October 25, 2012

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