What are brain disorders?

A brain disorder is a problem with the structure or function of the brain. Symptoms can include changes in behavior, mood, consciousness, and bodily functions.

Brain disorders can cause many problems: physical illness and disability; emotional distress and depression; difficulties at school and work; trouble staying employed; strained relationships with family members and other people; homelessness; incarceration; and unnatural death. Brain disorders are among the most difficult medical conditions to live with because they challenge how we think, feel, act, relate to others, handle stress, make choices, etc.

Not every mental health condition has a direct effect on the brain itself (for example depression). However, some mental illnesses may be associated with abnormalities that indicate that there is something “not right” within the brain.

Various mental disorders produce observable changes in behavior and psychological functioning, but many of these conditions do not originate from a direct problem with any specific area or function of the brain. However, there is increasing evidence that all mental health conditions have an underlying biological basis and may be associated with problems that indicate dysfunction within the brain.

How common are brain disorders?

Brain disorders can affect people of any age, race, religion, or income level; however certain groups seem to experience higher rates of some disorders (e.g., people who live in rural areas for schizophrenia). Mental illness can make it difficult to hold down a job and maintain relationships. Many people need help from family members and friends during recovery. Brain disorders account for an estimated 13 percent of the global burden of disease.

Which are the most common brain disorders?

* Schizophrenia affects approximately 1% of people at some point during their lives. Schizophrenia usually begins between ages 16 and 30, with men being affected more often than women. There is no clear cause, but genetics seems to play a role in who gets this condition. Symptoms can be treated with antipsychotic medicines or psychotherapy (e.g., social skills training).

Early intervention may improve long-term outcomes. * Bipolar disorder affects about 2.6% of adults (ages 18+) at some point in their life. This illness typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, but it can develop later on in life. The mean age at onset in the mid-20s for men and late 20s for women.

Onset after age 50 occurs in about 1% of cases. Men tend to have their first episode earlier than women, but women experience more rapid cycling between mood states. In bipolar disorder, a person cycles back and forth between periods of feeling overly excited (mania) and periods of feeling down (depression). This pattern may occur with or without psychotic symptoms (e.g., delusions, hallucinations). Patients with mania often require hospitalization because they are at high risk for dangerous behaviors that can lead to death (e.g., extreme overspending, reckless driving, unsafe sex).

Medication alone (without psychotherapy) is usually insufficient to treat mania or psychosis. Early intervention can improve long-term outcomes. * Substance use disorders are defined by the DSM-5 as clinically significant impairment caused by recurrent alcohol or other substance use that results in at least one of four specific criteria being present for a certain time (e.g., impaired control over the substance, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, persistent use despite worsening consequences). Common substances include drugs such as opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and nicotine; and alcohol

How many brain diseases are there:

At present, there are many different forms of brain disease that have been identified and categorized. Some occur very rarely, others may affect a few people in the world at any one time. Brain diseases can be physical or psychiatric. In this article, we will look at some of the more common physical brain diseases as well as those that have been recognized as mental illnesses.

The vast majority of brain disorders are either congenital conditions from birth e.g. Spina bifida or a result of damage to the head caused by injury or illness such as cancer or a stroke/aneurysm. The most common cause of epilepsy is unknown but it has been found that certain central nervous system infections can also lead to seizures so doctors often monitor for infections in people with repeated seizures.

Cancer is a major cause of brain disease, especially if diagnosed when the patient is still young. In most cases, the tumor will be treated by radiation and/or chemotherapy but some patients may require surgery to remove or debulk a large mass. Surgery on the brain itself is only used for certain types of tumors such as gliomas, meningiomas, and pituitary adenomas.

A stroke can occur in many different ways:

bleeding in the brain (which causes damage directly), blood clots (thrombus), and damaged blood vessels either blocked or leaking out material into the surrounding tissue. If part of your brain dies after one of these occurrences you will have a permanent loss of function in that part of the brain.

There are many different types of dementia including Alzheimer’s, vascular (multi-infarct), and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease which is a rare disease caused by infectious proteins called prions. Symptoms include loss of memory and reasoning as well as changes in mood/personality, behavior, and other mental processes.

The person may also experience problems with movement such as clumsiness or muscle spasms (myoclonus). It has been suggested that some forms of CJD may be transmitted through certain medical procedures such as corneal transplantation, dura mater grafting, and human growth hormone therapy although this has not been proven except for dural grafting where there was a fourfold increase in the incidence of CJD after surgery.

Tourette syndrome, synesthesia, and Autism are all examples of mental illnesses which affect the brain although they usually manifest themselves through abnormal behavior or personality rather than causing any physical changes within the brain itself.

Chronic brain disorder:

A brain injury is a damage to the brain resulting from an external force. The severity of brain injuries ranges from mild (commonly referred to as a concussion) to severe, or catastrophic which can cause permanent disability or death.

Most traumatic brain injuries are concussions where the impact causes the victim’s head to move rapidly back and forth causing structural damage that results in either temporary or long-term memory loss, among other symptoms. Brain injuries that break the skull but do not penetrate the cranial cavity are known as closed head injuries. Penetrating injuries occur when an object pierces through to the other side of your skull and enters your brain tissue.

These often cause more severe forms of trauma than closed head injuries. There are many methods for classifying TBIs but generally fall into one of three categories: focal brain injuries, diffuse axonal brain injuries, or coup-contrecoup brain injuries.

A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to a disturbance in blood supply. This can be due to ischemia (loss of blood flow), or bleeding (hemorrhage). Symptoms depend on which functions are affected. They may include paralysis, blindness, and lack of awareness among others.

A discovery with CT scans was hyperdense MCA signs… These are signs found restricted to each hemisphere by specific subcortical vascular territories… The sign has good sensitivity for identifying patients with acute stroke with small volume lesions in the basal ganglia or thalamus.


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