Brain Diseases

Brain diseases pills

Last Updated June 13th, 2021

Overview of brain diseases

Disorders of the peripheral and central nervous system are very severe in nature. They may lead to the complete degeneration of the neurological system and permanently incapacitate an individual. These disorders are observed mainly after the age of 65. But in recent years, young adults and even small children are being diagnosed with neurological diseases. The most common form of the neurological disease is “brain diseases” that is affecting the lives of millions worldwide. According to the global estimates by the World Health Organization, 1 out of every 6 people in any country suffers from one or the other type of brain disease. This has resulted in reduced life expectancy all over the world and demands attention from global health organizations.

What are brain diseases?

Brain diseasesBrain diseases refer to a group of neurodegenerative disorders that adversely affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. These diseases are not so severe in the initial stages. But they may gradually progress and interfere with the cognitive abilities of an individual. The onset of these diseases is marked by fluctuations in the levels of the primary neurotransmitter chemical (dopamine). In the more advanced stages, degeneration and loss of nerve cells occurs, accompanied by abnormalities in the synaptic connections (connections between nerve cells). In many cases, abnormal clustering of proteins leads to the formation of tangles and plaques. All these phenomena may disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and interfere with learning, judgment, and memory.

Causes of brain diseases

Brain diseases mainly occur with age. Numerous extrinsic and intrinsic factors contribute to brain diseases. The commonly analyzed causes are listed below-

  • Plaque formation: Impairment of nerve cell interactions (synapses) may occur due to the formation of plaques (protein beta-amyloid). In the more progressive stages, degeneration and death of brain cells occur.
  • Tangle formation: Structural and functional abnormalities of the essential protein (tau) in the brain lead to the formation of irregular twists in the brain cells. These are known as neurofibrillary tangles. They have detrimental effects on the internal support system of the brain. Henceforth, the normal mechanism of transport of nutrients and other essential materials within the brain is disturbed.
  • Protein degradation: Certain genetic mutations are triggered by toxic materials present in the environment. These lead to degradation of brain proteins due to the disturbed functioning of the protein disposal system of the brain.
  • Protein aggregation: Formation of clustered alpha-synuclein fibrils and a few other proteins are manifested as Lewy bodies within the brain. This results in severe neuronal dysfunctions and death of brain cells.
  • Excitotoxicity: Oversensitization of a particular neurotransmitter (glutamate) occurs in some cases that lead to overactivation of brain cells.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation of brain cells may occur due to existing or past neurological diseases. The release of harmful chemicals (cytokines) occurs in this condition due to overactivation of the microglia.
  • Genetics: A number of genetic disorders may result from mutations of certain genes such as- synphilin-1, UCH-L1 and DJ-1. This leads to an autosomal dominant hereditary trend that is passed on to the future generations within a family. A sharp decline in dopamine levels occurs in such cases. Two examples of such disorders are- Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Age: Natural degeneration of brain cells and neurons occurs with age. This leads to disturbed cognitive capabilities in elderly people suffering from brain diseases.
  • Environment: Exposure to environmental toxicities such as lead, mercury, cadmium or arsenic on a regular basis can accelerate the degeneration of brain cells and nerve cells. An example of a deadly chemical that is injected into the body through intravenous drugs is- methyl-phenyl-tetrahydropyridine (MTP).
  • Congenital defects: Certain brain defects are present at birth. Structural anomalies of bones and soft tissues in the head and spine are observed in such cases. These gradually develop into brain diseases.
  • Medications: Various over-the-counter drugs used to treat other diseases can lead to brain toxicity when taken for a long period of time.
  • Substance abuse: Excessive intake of tobacco and alcohol on a regular basis can directly affect the neurotransmitter chemicals within the brain (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine). This can cause serious brain diseases.

What are the warning signs?

Brain diseases parkinsonsBrain diseases are identified through the following symptoms-

  • Headaches
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Loss of sensation in arms and legs
  • Imbalance
  • Speech problems
  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty learning
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of judgment
  • Forgetfulness
  • Personality disorders
  • Lack of judgment
  • Constant sweating
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained anxiety and nervousness

What are the types of brain diseases?

The following types of brain diseases are commonly diagnosed-

  • Parkinson’s disease: It is a disorder of the central nervous system, characterized by overall body imbalance and difficulty in normal movements.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: It is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by problems in memory, language and other cognitive functions.
  • Epilepsy: In this disease, sudden convulsive fits occur due to excessive electrical stimulus at the neuronal receptors.
  • Stroke: In this condition, the death of brain cells occurs due to lack of blood supply to the brain or brain hemorrhage.
  • Brain tumors: Brain tumors may grow from the meningeal tissue (meningioma) or glial tissue (glioma).
  • Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain occurs in this disease due to viral infections.
  • Myasthenia Gravis: It is an autoimmune disease caused due to abnormal functioning of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junctions.  Extreme muscle weakness and muscular dystrophy occur in this disease.

Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis of brain diseases is very necessary to detect the root cause. The following tests are very important-

  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • CT scan and MRI scan of the brain
  • Blood flow studies of the brain (to detect the presence of clots or hemorrhages)
  • Acute Dopaminergic testing
  • Structural and functional imaging

Treatment

Brain diseases pillsParkinson’s disease 

  • Medication –Medications may help with motor skill and tremors. Since Parkinson’s disease is caused due to the lack of dopamine in the brain,  certain medication such as carbidopa-levodopa and dopamine agonists help in substituting the dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Surgery – Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is often advised to those who have a severe case of Parkinson’s disease. Here, a small electrode is implanted in a part of the brain with a generator implanted near the collarbone. The generator sends electric pulses to the brain; hence reducing the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Brain tumor 

  • Surgery – If your brain tumor is in an accessible location, your doctor will recommend you to get a surgery done. If your surgeon is unable to remove the tumor completely, they will cut a part of it to test it, to help find out the type of tumor it is.
  • Radiation therapy – Here, high energy light beams are used to kill the cancer cells. This therapy is mostly done after the surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells.
  • Radiosurgery – In this treatment method, multiple high energy beams are used to eliminate the tumor cells.
  • Chemotherapy – Here drugs are given orally or intravenously to get rid of the cancer cells. This is the most common treatment method for all types of cancers.
  • Targeted drug therapy – This method of treatment targets the abnormalities that are present in the cancer cells, to help kill the cancer cells altogether.

Epilepsy 

  • Medication – Your doctor will prescribe your medications based on your age, the frequency of seizures and other medications that you might be taking. Epilepsy can be treated by the anti-epileptic medications which tend to stop your seizures.
  • Surgery –When the patient’s body refuses to accept the medications, surgery is the only option. Doctors will operate on a patient only if
  • The patient’s seizures originate in a small portion of the brain.
  • The area that needs to be operated on does not affect any vital function such as speech, motor, cognition etc.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation – This form of therapy can reduce seizures by 20-40% Here, the surgeons implant a device called a vagus nerve stimulator is the brain and a small generator in the abdomen (a lot like the pacemaker) wires from the stimulator are connect to the vagus nerve via the neck.
  • Ketogenic diet – This diet is high in fats and low in carbohydrates. This diet is followed in children. This diet can be stopped after a few years.

Encephalitis 

  • Bed rest- Along with it a lot of fluids and anti-inflammatory drugs can help treat mild cases of encephalitis.
  • Anti-viral drugs – Certain cases of encephalitis cases can be treated with anti-viral drugs. Anti-viral medications are generally well tolerated by patients. In some cases, such as insect bites this form of treatment would not have any effect, due to which patients are prescribed with acyclovir as it can be effective against HSV.
  • Supportive care – The patients who have been hospitalized due to their severe condition of encephalitis require supportive care.
  • Breathing assistance, monitoring breathing, and checking heart rate.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to make sure that there is no swelling in the brain.
  • Fluids need to be given intravenously to ensure that they stay hydrated.
  • Anticonvulsive medications to help prevent any seizures.

Myasthenia gravis 

  • Medication – Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors and corticosteroids enhance the communication between the nerves and inhibit the immune system from producing antibodies.
  • Intravenous therapy – Procedures such as plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin are done to filter the blood and provide antibiotics intravenously to the patients.
  • Surgery – Surgery to remove the thymus gland that is located under the bread bone is conducted to improve the symptoms of myasthenia gravis.

Cerebral stroke 

  • Ischemic strokes are treated by given injections of tissue plasminogen activators as this is the best course of treatment for this kind of stroke. The injections help in dissolving the clot to make sure that there is proper blood flow in the brain.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke is treated by putting a clip on the aneurysm to make sure that it does not burst or start bleeding again. Another form of treatment is by putting a catheter through the groin and removing the blood clot, this surgical method is called coiling (endovascular embolization).

Prevention

Parkinson’s disease – Since the cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown, there are no sure shot ways to prevent this disease. There are certain risk factors that can be monitored.

  • Age – making sure that you get a regular check-up done if you are above 60-years-old.
  • Hereditary – Knowing your family history can help in understanding the chances of you being diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
  • Sex – Women need to be extra cautious, as Parkinson’s is mostly found in women.
  • Limit your exposure to toxins and certain chemicals.

Brain tumor 

  • Limit your exposure to radiation as it can increase the chances of being diagnosed with brain cancer.
  • Being aware of your family history helps in identifying the chanced of you being diagnosed with brain tumor.

Epilepsy 

  • Age – Cases of epilepsy are most common in children and young adults. Make sure to get a routine check-up done.
  • Family history or epilepsy cases must be known, to help determine your child’s chances of developing the condition.
  • Head injuries – Get a head injury checked out immediately and do not treat it lightly.

Encephalitis 

  • Wear protective gear.
  • Use skin and nonskin insect repellents.
  • Install mosquito nets in your house.

Myasthenia gravis – Since it is an autoimmune disorder, there is no sure shot preventive measure.

Cerebral stroke 

    • Maintain your blood pressure.
    • Control your cholesterol and saturated fats in your diet.

TL;DR?

Facts

  • In the USA, 5.5 million people over the age of 65 and 200,000 below 65 are currently living with Alzheimer’s.
  • In the early 19th century it was believed that seizures were contagious. Due to this, epilepsy patients were kept away from the psychiatric ward.

Facts

  • The Japanese encephalitis virus is endemic to Asia; countries include Japan, India, and Pakistan.
  • The encephalitis virus was first isolated in 1935 in Japan.

Facts

  • Stress can make the condition of Parkinson’s disease worse.
  • Primary brain cancer is rare. Brain cancers are often secondary cancers, where cancer from another part of the body spreads to the brain.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Exercise regularly. This helps in strengthening the muscles and increases flexibility – Parkinson’s disease.
  • Try and encourage non-verbal communication – while communicating with Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Ensure that the patient does not injure themselves – for those with epilepsy.
Don'ts
  • Consume fatty, junk, oily, greasy and processed food – Parkinson’s disease.
  • Criticize or correct them – while communicating with Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Restrict any convulsive movement as they may lead to fractures – for those with epilepsy.

 

 

 

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GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of glycated hemoglobin in…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgG
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgG Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 antibody test involves detecting and measuring the presence of the IgG class of beta…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
Hysteroscopy_procedure
Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have revealed that Alkaline…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Beware of these common foods that cause high bodily inflammation! Maybe its the long list of inflammatory foods in your diet that is making you frequently sick. Find…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…