Brain Diseases

Table of Contents

Brain Diseases


The brain is the central organ of the human nervous system which controls almost all functions of the body. It is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body and is made up of 100 billion neurons and many specialized areas that communicate trillions of connections and work together. It is the main organ of the central nervous system which is located in the head and protected by the skull. The three main parts of the brain are:

  1. Cerebrum— It is the largest part of the brain, which occupies most of your skull. It is mainly composed of the right and left hemispheres and performs important functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing, as well as speech, reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine control of movement. It makes up 85% of the total brain’s weight.
  2. Cerebellum— Also, called the little brain. It is a small portion of the brain, located under the cerebrum, at the back of our head. It is involved in controlling coordination, muscle movements, maintaining body posture, muscular activity and balance.
  3. Brain stem— It is present beneath the cerebrum and front of the cerebellum, which consists of the medulla oblongata, pons and midbrain. It acts as a relay centre by connecting the cerebrum and cerebellum to the spinal cord. Other functions include controlling the flow of messages with the body, and performing many automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, sneezing, swallowing, pumping of the heart, body temperature, sleeping, coughing, vomiting, etc.

The main functions of the Human Brain include:

  • Processing the sensory information.
  • Thinking, learning, remembering and reasoning.
  • Regulating blood pressure, heartbeat, and breathing.
  • Controls the secretion, synthesizing and releasing the hormones.
  • Production and coordination of miscellaneous body movements.

Brain Diseases

Brain diseases depending on their category can be caused due to several different factors. Some of the major categories of brain diseases are inflammation, trauma, tumours, stroke, seizures, etc.

Let us have a look into some of the most common brain diseases along with their symptoms, causes and their treatments.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain and its parts, most commonly caused due to accidents, rupture of internal organs and other brain injuries, including Blood clots, Hematomas, Strokes, Concussions, and Contusions, Swelling inside the skull, etc. In this disorder, tissue, neurons, and nerves of the brain are damaged by trauma. This results in the brain’s inability to communicate with the rest of the body.

Symptoms of TBI

The most common signs and symptoms of Traumatic brain injury are:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Headache
  3. Paralysis
  4. Seizures
  5. Numbness
  6. Vomiting
  7. Dizziness
  8. Depression
  9. Irritability
  10. Memory loss
  11. Loss of balance
  12. Sleep disorders
  13. Visual problems
  14. Difficulty in speech
  15. Bleeding from the ear
  16. Loss of consciousness
  17. Confusion and disorientation
  18. Poor or Loss of concentration

Treatment of TBI

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the brain injury. Some of the treatments are:

  • Medication.
  • Neurocritical care
  • Immediate brain surgery to stop bleeding, and repair or removal of damaged tissues.
  • Rehabilitation measures like physical therapy, speech, language therapy and psychiatry.

Brain Tumours

Abnormal growth of tissue within the brain is termed the brain tumour. This tumour may either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) and can occur in any age group. The specific causes of brain tumours are still unknown. The brain tumour is classified into:

  • Primary brain tumours– A tumour which begins in the brain is termed a Primary Brain Tumour. It is very dangerous and it can either be malignant or a benign tumour.
  • Secondary brain tumours– These tumours are formed or developed in some other part of the body and are spread into the brain.

Symptoms of the Brain tumour 

The signs and symptoms of the brain tumour usually vary with the location, type and size of the tumour. The most common brain tumour symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of balance while walking
  • Tingling sensation in your arms
  • Personality and Behavior Changes
  • Problems related to hearing, speech or vision.

Treatment of the Brain tumour 

The primary and most desired treatment for the brain tumour is surgery. It is mainly prescribed to remove tumour cells. Other treatments include Radiation therapy, Chemotherapy and Rehabilitation.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative disease is also called Degenerative Nerve Disease. It is a range of conditions which primarily affects the neurons in the human brain. Some common neurodegenerative diseases are:

  1. Prion disease
  2. Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Parkinson’s disease
  4. Huntington’s disease
  5. Spinocerebellar ataxia
  6. Motor neuron diseases
  7. Spinal muscular atrophy
  8. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Symptoms of the Neurodegenerative disease 

Common symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease include:

  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Paralysis
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Rigid muscles
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of memory
  • Muscular tremors
  • Abnormal sensations
  • Changes in personality
  • Decreased concentration
  • Decreased automatic movements
  • Improper muscular coordination during movement

These symptoms may get worse along with the diseases. There are also chances of new symptoms developing over time.

Treatment of the Neurodegenerative disease 

There is no cure for neurodegenerative diseases, as this disorder causes permanent damage to the central nervous system. But few treatments are available to reduce symptoms and maintain the quality of life. Treatment often involves the use of medications to control symptoms and surgery may also be advised. Along with the medications, regular physical activities, lifestyle modifications, aerobic exercise, and getting more rest are advised for all patients with these disorders.

Few important Questions on Brain diseases

  • List out the common brain diseases.

Meningitis, Encephalitis, Seizures, Trauma, Hydrocephalus, Brain abscess, and Tumours are the list of most common brain diseases.

  • What are the main causes of brain diseases?

Infections, trauma, stroke, tumours and other brain injuries are the main causes of brain diseases.

  • What are the common symptoms of brain diseases?

The common symptoms of brain diseases include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Headache
  3. Paralysis
  4. Seizures
  5. Numbness
  6. Vomiting
  7. Dizziness
  8. Depression
  9. Irritability
  10. Memory loss
  • What is a Concussion?

A concussion is caused by a serious type of traumatic brain injury, which results in a temporary disturbance in brain functioning, including unconsciousness and other memory-related problems.

  • What is a Brain abscess?

Brain abscess is mainly caused by inflammation and collection of  infection in the brain and is usually caused by pathogens including bacteria,  and other infected materials

  • What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, which slowly and gradually worsens memory and other important mental functions.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know more in detail about the human brain, its structure, functions and disorders.


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