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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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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 stiffness, headache, fever, and confusion are common symptoms.

Encephalitis: An inflammation of the brain tissue, usually due to a viral 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, a condition characterized by recurring seizures caused by abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain. Head injuries, brain infections, and strokes may cause epilsepsy, as well.

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 and may result in headache, along with concentration and memory problems.

Traumatic brain injury: Acquired, often 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 stroke as a result of 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; 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; pressure inside the brain remains normal, despite the increased fluid.

Pseudotumor cerebri (false brain tumor): Increased pressure inside the skull with no apparent cause; vision changes, headaches, dizziness, and nausea are common symptoms.

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