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Brain Disorders and Diseases: Overview

The brain is the controlling unit of our body meaning brain disorders and diseases are serious because the nervous system is made of efficiently working organs including the brain and spinal cord. The nerves and neurons are connected to all parts of our body like a network of a huge communication system that helps communication among our body parts. It has control over everything your muscles and senses are capable of doing.

A damaged brain affects the capability of the body to perform its functions, including senses, memory, and even your behavior. Brain damage can result from any condition. In broader terms, it can be due to-

  • Genetical makeup
  • Traumatic damage
  • Illness

Types of brain disorders and diseases

brain disorders and diseases can have a significant negative effect on quality of life

Brain Tumors

A tumor is the extra growth of cells that has the capability of clogging a part of your body. When found in the brain, it can be dangerous enough to block some of the functions of the brain depending on its location.

These are known as primary brain tumors. Sometimes, cancer formed in another part of your body also spreads to the brain. These are known as metastatic or secondary brain tumors.

There are two types of brain tumors – Malignant and Benign. While the malignant tumor is cancer forming, benign tumors are non-cancerous. Further, brain tumors have been classified as grades – 1,2,3, and 4.

Researchers have still not found the proper reason behind the formation of these tumors. There is no age bracket for their formation. They can form at any age. Symptoms vary in all patients depending on the location and size of the brain tumor.

Symptoms of brain tumor

  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Improper functioning of sense organs – vision, hearing, and speech.
  • Trouble in making balance and movement
  • Changes in behavior and personality
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs

Treatment of brain tumor

Treatment of the person suffering from brain tumors relies on the age, location of the tumor, the size of the tumor and the health condition of the person. Some popular treatments for a brain tumor are:

Brain injuries

Brain injuries are usually the result of blunt trauma.

Blunt trauma is physical trauma to a body part that occurs due to injury, impact or physical attack.

Trauma has the capability to destroy the brain’s nerves, tissues, and neurons. This destruction has a bad impact on your brain’s functioning. Brain injuries can include –

  • Bruising or contusions in the brain tissue
  • Hematomas
  • Strokes
  • Swelling inside the skull or cerebral edema
  • Blood clots
  • Concussions

Some of the symptoms of a brain injury are:

Vomiting, difficulty in speech, vomiting, memory loss, numbness, bleeding from the ear, nausea, problems with concentration, and paralysis.

Also, these symptoms may further develop in the form of – high-pressure, irregular breathing, dilating pupils, and low heart rate.

Treatments for brain injury

Again, treatment depends on the kind of injury a person has in the brain. These treatments involve medication, surgery, and rehabilitation.

Surgery is done in more than 50 percent of the cases, wherein the damaged tissue is repaired or removed to reduce the pressure on the brain. However, for minor brain injuries, surgery is not required and can be treated with the help of medicines.

The brain may need some time to fully recover from trauma and the patients often require rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can include – physical therapy, psychiatry, and speech and language therapy.

Mental disorders

Also termed as mental illness, it is referred to a wide and varied spectrum of conditions that have some kind of effect on the behavioral pattern of the person suffering from it.

Some of the most commonly known disorders are – anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

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The symptoms related to mental disorders can vary from person to person depending on the condition. Symptoms can vary even for the same mental disorder. Any change in behavior, moods, and thought process detrimental for your well being can be a sign that you should be seeing a doctor.

Treatment methods

  • Medication and psychotherapy are the two most commonly used methods of treatment. Every patient has different treatment needs and thus doctors can even use a combination of these two methods.
  • If someone you know is suffering from a mental disorder, it is the responsibility of the close ones to get them the proper treatment with the help of a doctor.
  • Never try to self medicate a mental disorder.
  • A good diet has a great role in the functioning of the brain and can effectively aid the brain in recovering from the disorder.

Neurodegenerative disorder

Neurodegenerative disorders can destroy your brain and nerves over time. These disorders affect the behavior, personality and orientation capability in a person. Some brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s develop with age.

They gradually damage your memory and thinking process. Some other diseases such as Angelman syndrome start at a very early age. Other neurodegenerative diseases are –

  • Dementia
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)


  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • A loss of control and inhibition
  • Agitation
  • Aggressiveness

Note – Neurodegenerative diseases tend to cause permanent damage to the brain, which is why the symptoms gradually become worse as the disease reaches more progressive stage. Some other symptoms may also develop at this stage.

Cure and Treatment

No cure for neurodegenerative disorders has been found yet. However, some treatment methods help in reducing its effects. With these treatments, a person can have a considerable quality of life. Treatments involve medication that helps in controlling the symptoms.

How do you risk getting a mental disorder?

There are no single criteria for brain disorders. It can affect anyone and can be of any kind.

  • Traumatic injury – It is most commonly seen in children below the age of 4, or young people from age between 15 to 25, and even adults older than 65.
  • Brain tumor – There is no age criteria for a brain tumor. You can get it from your genetics or even through the exposure to the surrounding that contributes to the risk of getting tumors, for example, people working around radiation are prone to getting tumors.
  • Age and family history – People above the age of 65 or with a family history of brain disorders are most likely to develop these disorders.

Diagnosis of the brain disorders

A neurological professional or specialist, or primary care physician can diagnose a mental disorder.

  • Various neurological and physical check-ups are done, including vision, balance, and hearing. CT, PET, and MRI are used as diagnostic tools that help in getting the clear image of your brain.
  • A neurological specialist might also use the fluid from your spinal cord or brain that can help him diagnose any kind of bleeding, infection or abnormalities in the brain.
  • Mental health diseases are generally diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms and history of the patient.

Long-term effects of mental disorders

The effects of brain disorders vary depending on the type of the disorder. It can be very severe in some than others. Some of the conditions related to mental disorders can be treated with medication and therapy alone.

Many people suffering from mental disorders live quality life due to the availability of these treatments. However, some other disorders like neurodegenerative and traumatic injuries tend to have no cure.

Persons suffering from these conditions suffer from permanent loss of personality and mental abilities. Treatments can definitely reduce the effects to some extent but can never cure the disorder.