Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Brain Diseases

Brain diseases come in different forms. Infections, trauma, stroke, seizures, and tumors are some of the major categories of brain diseases. Here's an overview of various diseases of the brain.

Brain Diseases: Infections

Brain diseases in the category of infections include:

Meningitis: An inflammation of the lining around the brain or spinal cord, usually due to infection. Neck pain, headache, and confusion are common symptoms.

Encephalitis: An inflammation of the brain tissue, usually due to infection. Meningitis and encephalitis often occur together, which is called meningoencephalitis.

Brain abscess: A pocket of infection in the brain, usually caused by bacteria. Antibiotics and surgical drainage of the area are often necessary.

Brain Diseases: Seizures

Included in the seizure category of brain diseases is epilepsy. Head injuries and strokes may cause epilepsy, but usually no cause is identified.

Brain Diseases: Trauma

Trauma includes these conditions:

Concussion: A brain injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain function, sometimes with unconsciousness and confusion. Traumatic head injuries cause concussions.

Traumatic brain injury: Permanent brain damage from a traumatic head injury. Obvious mental impairment or more subtle personality and mood changes can occur.

Intracerebral hemorrhage: Any bleeding inside the brain, which may occur after a traumatic injury or due to high blood pressure.

Brain Diseases: Tumors, Masses, and Increased Pressure

This category of brain disease includes: 

Brain tumor: Any abnormal tissue growth inside the brain. Whether malignant (cancerous) or benign, brain tumors usually cause problems by the pressure they exert on the normal brain. 

Glioblastoma: An aggressive, cancerous brain tumor. Brain glioblastomas progress rapidly and are usually difficult to cure. 

Hydrocephalus: An abnormally increased amount of cerebrospinal (brain) fluid inside the skull. Usually, this is because the fluid is not circulating properly. 

Normal pressure hydrocephalus: A form of hydrocephalus that often causes problems with walking, along with dementia and urinary incontinence. Pressures inside the brain remain normal, despite the increased fluid. 

Pseudotumor cerebri: Increased pressure inside the skull with no apparent cause. Vision changes, headaches, dizziness, and nausea are common symptoms.

Brain Diseases: Vascular (Blood Vessels) Conditions

Brain diseases connected with blood vessel conditions include: 

Stroke: Blood flow and oxygen are suddenly interrupted to an area of brain tissue, which then dies. The body part controlled by the damaged brain area (such as an arm or a leg) may no longer function properly. 

Ischemic stroke: A blood clot suddenly develops in an artery, blocking blood flow and causing a stroke. 

Hemorrhagic stroke: Bleeding in the brain creates congestion and pressure on brain tissue, impairing healthy blood flow and causing a stroke. 

Cerebrovascular accident (CVA): Another name for stroke. 

Transient ischemic attack (TIA): A temporary interruption of blood flow and oxygen to a part of the brain. Symptoms are similar to those of a stroke, but they resolve completely (usually within 24 hours) without damage to brain tissue. 

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
Close up of eye
12 culprits that affect your ability to focus.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
senior man
brain research briefing
Vaccine and needle
mans hands on laptop keyboard
brain illustration stroke
most common stroke symptoms
Parkinsons Disease Medications