In this post, I have listed the top 10 brain diseases that have the worst symptoms and a high mortality rate. This is an educational article.
Brain diseases can be tricky sometimes. They don’t always put a person on a deathbed but can make life agonizingly difficult. Especially, the ones with symptoms like seizures and paralysis.
A fully functional and healthy brain requires a constant supply of nutrients. These nutrients are supplied via blood. Due to some reasons, the flow of blood gets hindered and the brain suffers from ischemia. On the other hand, it may suffer from a hemorrhage on accumulation or leakage of the blood inside the brain.
Following is a list Top 10 brain diseases and a description of their influence on you :
1) Brain tumor
Brain tumor formation can affect a person in numerous ways. Its symptoms do not have a fixed pattern. Probably, this is one reason it is difficult to diagnose in the early stages.
But, the headaches people get from a tumor (whether it is cancerous or not) are very distinct. They hurt far more than a regular headache. Usually, headaches start in the early mornings and stay until the person vomits or takes some kind of medication for it.
Brain tumor usually occurs when there is an accumulation of unnatural cells in the brain. These cells usually are found in the form of a cluster. They have the potential to grow and damage the functioning of the brain. If left untreated, it can also cause death.
American politician and naval officer John McCain died from a brain tumor. He passed away in August 2018. In McCain’s case, the brain tumor caused a condition called Glioblastoma.
Nowadays, there are plenty of effective treatment options available. Each type of tumor is treated differently. Surgery, radiation therapy and Chemotherapy are some of the commonly recommended treatment options by doctors.
Meningitis is one of those brain diseases that remind me of those physiatric wards they show in the old Hollywood movies. The symptoms of Meningitis are so strange that it is almost scary to be with someone who has it.
Some of the common ones are severe headache, neck stiffness and an altered mental state. These symptoms usually suggest bacterial meningitis.
Some people also become intolerant to bright light and loud noise.
In a human brain, there is a layer called meninges that protects the brain and spinal cord in vertebrates. Sometimes bacteria can bypass this membrane and infect the brain. This invasion causes severe damage and complications. Bacteria enter the brain via the bloodstream or through the nasal cavity.
Recently American actress and singer, Jan Maxwell, 61, died from Meningitis.
Every year, thousands of people die from Meningitis. In some countries, due to lack of medical advancements, an infection from Meningitis is even considered as certain death. Diagnosis also expensive and takes time. But in western countries, treatment with wide-spectrum antibiotics as a pre-emptive measure can save a person’s life.
In addition, corticosteroids are also useful for those who suffer from a hearing difficulty due to Meningitis.
Hydrocephalus is a condition that makes the head swell or bulge due to the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside it. When the pressure inside the brain increases, indications like headaches, vomiting, nausea, and sleepiness are seen in the patients. If left untreated, it can lead to immediate death.
One way of treating Hydrocephalus in children is by placing a pipe between the brain and the abdominal cavity. This way, the excess cerebrospinal fluid drains out of the brain and releases pressure in the skull.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia. It is so widespread that It comes under one of the top 10 brain diseases of all time; also considering the mortality rate due to it. The root cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is unknown to researchers. However, there is a rare chance of someone inheriting it from their parents or forefathers.
The person suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease begins to show signs of weak memory in the early stages. But the condition gets worse in the later stages.
Total, there are four stages of Alzheimer’s Disease(Pre-dementia, Early, Moderate, Advanced). Every Alzheimer’s Disease patient goes through each one of them.
Due to the excess production of plaques and tangles(abnormal substances) in the brain area responsible for memory, the communication between two neurons gets obstructed. Due to this Alzheimer’s patient finds it difficult to pull out thoughts and information from his mind.
As of now, there is no fool-proof treatment method available for Alzheimer’s disease. But the symptoms can be managed by introducing a ketogenic diet along with some soothing music to keep the brain function.
5) Brain aneurysm
A brain aneurysm is an agonizing condition in which the cerebral arteries become weak which in turn results in them bulging out in the form of balloons. They are always under the threat of bursting and letting the blood flow out into the brain. This scenario can be fatal.
When the cerebral artery ruptures, the person may get severe headaches or he/she might lose consciousness. But in some cases, people don’t feel any symptoms, as a result, the situation gets worse.
Due to sudden leakage of blood in the brain region, there is a major chance of the person not making it before they get medical help. This condition is also known as brain hemorrhage.
Surgical clipping and Endovascular coiling are two treatment methods available to treat a ruptured artery in the brain. This process is more likely to be successful if the patient receives treatment within 24 hours of the aneurysm.
6) Subdural hematoma
The word “hematoma ” means partial bleeding from the outer portion of the skin. The best example is a “black eye” that we get after receiving a punch in the face. The darkening of the skin is due to blood leaking out of damaged blood vessels.
In the case of Subdural hematoma, blood gathers between the membranes inside the brain. This usually occurs due to an injury to the brain. Road accidents and fights are two major reasons behind Subdural hematoma.
Symptoms appear almost immediately in case of a severe case of Subdural hematoma. Or else it may take weeks for the patient to notice the impact of the injury.
Some of the symptoms of Subdural hematoma are falling unconscious, getting irritated, eyesight problems and nausea.
7) Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Transient Ischemic Attack occurs intermittently due to shortage or disruption of blood flow to the brain. Numbness on one side if the body is the most common symptom of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). It also causes speech and vision problems.
Dreadful symptoms like one-sided facial droop and one-sided motor weakness make Transient Ischemic Attack one of the top 10 brain diseases of all the modern times. Imagine partial paralysis on one side of the body and not being able to speak or move for days. It’s worse than being in hell.
8) Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is another form of dementia. It affects the way a person moves his/her limbs and other movable parts of the body.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, the diseased individual faces difficulty in walking, moving quicker and being flexible. Most of Parkinson’s Disease patients become rigid and static.
However, in the later stages, things begin to get serious and the person loses his/her memory, becomes depressed and anxious.
Similar to Alzheimer’s, the cause behind Parkinson’s Disease is also unknown. There are numerous speculations published by the science community, but most of the research papers remain inconclusive.
Moreover, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease yet. You can only manage the symptoms with medication. Hence, it definitely comes under top 10 brain diseases.
Epilepsy causes the nervous system to malfunction. This is indicated by seizures(unconscious ticking). Seizures mainly occur due to excess or unnecessary activity in the neurons inside the brain. Moreover, the seizures can last for a short or long period; depending on the severity of the damage caused to the nervous system.
Researchers don’t know the root cause of Epilepsy yet. But in most cases, factors like brain injury, tumor, genetic mutations, and stroke lead to epileptic seizures.
The increasing mortality rate due to a stroke is a major cause for concern in countries like the United States and Canada. In every 40 seconds, one person dies of a stroke. In fact, in the United States, stroke is the cause of 1 out of every 20 deaths. These stats are worrisome.
Before describing what a stroke is, I want you to know that there are two types of strokes. Ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is due to the shortage of blood supply to the brain and the later is due to excess blood accumulation or leakage of blood inside the brain.
The biggest sign of a stroke is paralysis in one side of the body; often the side of the body opposite to the brain region(left or right) where the stroke has occurred. The symptoms begin to show immediately after the stroke. In a minor stroke, the symptoms can last for a few hours and go away after the patient receives medical help from a doctor. However, the symptoms can become permanent if the damage caused to the brain is irreparable.
I hope I have covered all the major brain disorders. My intention was also to make you aware of their horrible symptoms so that you can take preventive measures to keep your brain in good condition.
Let me know in the comments below if you know more diseases that should come under this top 10 brain diseases list.