Brain Damage – Types And Causes

Tess Thompson



Genetics and underdevelopment during gestation are the most prominent causes of diminished brain health . While being born with an inherent brain disease or bearing results of fetal underdevelopment is not in your control, maintaining and promoting brain health, is definitely in your hands.

Youthful dissipation of the abilities granted by nature is the worst damage that one can inflict on one’s brain. Even as we pay attention to our physical health, we tend to ignore brain health and in many cases, we unknowingly cause damage to it in more ways than one. Did anyone ever tell you that not eating breakfast can lead to low blood sugar level that can cause brain damage by restricting the supply of nutrients required by the brain? Overeating also causes blood vessels in the brain to harden, which can inhibit the supply of the much-needed oxygen laden blood to the brain.

Some other lifestyle causes that can adversely affect the brain and cause damage include:

  • Smoking leads to shrinkage of the brain mass and curbs mental focus and can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Inhaling polluted air restricts the supply of oxygen to the brain.
  • More than required sugar intake interferes with the absorption of proteins and other nutrients. This means that there are lesser nutrients for the brain.
  • Lack of sleep and covering your head while sleeping is detrimental to rest and denies much needed oxygen to the brain.

If you do not use your brain, it is liable to shrink and loose its capacities of concentration, mental focus, decision making and cognition. If you want to remain mentally alert, stimulate the brain by thinking and regularly indulging in intellectual conversations.

The brain is a sensitive organ and it is perhaps because of that it is enclosed in the skull. A severe blow at the temples, however, can surpass this natural defense and cause damage to brain cells. Structural damage can ultimately lead to brain dysfunction as the connectivity between neurons is disturbed.

Any disease originating within the brain cells or metastasized from other parts of the body can severely damage the brain. Both benign and malignant tumors are major non-infectious conditions that lead to extreme conditions, which are often incurable or inoperable. The continued growth of the tumor affects the brain in two ways:

  • Directly, by pressure on the neighboring areas that causes brain dysfunction.
  • Indirectly, by causing a blood clot that restricts supply of blood.

Types of brain damage can be generally classified as under:

  • Damages that affect communication abilities like constructing a sentence, verbally or on a paper and inability to recognize speech.
  • Damage to one side of the brain that lead to visual neglect where information from only one eye is received.
  • Amnesia that occurs due to degeneration of brain cells or physical trauma in most cases.
  • Agnosia, which is the inability to recognize objects by use of the senses. It is different from visual neglect as the person is able to see but cannot relate the surroundings of objects or persons to past experiences.

As stated earlier, neglect during the early stages of your life can cause early brain dysfunction. A healthy lifestyle with due emphasis on diet, including herbs and vitamins that promote mental focus and a socially active life can help in preventing age related brain damage.

References:
http://www.biology-online.org/8/4_brain_damage.htm

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