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World Brain Day 2020: Types and symptoms of brain disorders

World Brain Day 2020: Types and symptoms of brain disorders
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. @Shutterstock

This year, the topic of World Brain Day is Parkinson's disease - a brain disorder affects more than 7 million people of all ages worldwide. Read to know more about this condition and other types of brain disorders.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Published : July 22, 2020 9:24 AM IST

The brain is undoubtedly the most important organ in the human body as it controls all functions of the body. Your brain enables you to think, talk, feel, see, hear, remember things, walk, etc. Therefore, brain disorders can affect many other different functions of the body. For example, damage to the right side of the brain may cause movement problems. World Brain Day is observed every year on July 22 to increase public awareness about the importance of brain health.

This year, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (IPMDS) have jointly chosen Parkinson's disease as the topic for World Brain Day. Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that causes shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Keep reading to know the other types of brain disorders.

Differenttypes of brain disorders

Brain disorders are any conditions or disabilities that affect the functions of the brain. These could be caused by illness, genetics or traumatic injury. Below are different types of brain disorders and related symptoms.

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Brain injuries

Brain injuries often result from blunt trauma that damages brain tissue, neurons, and nerves. It can affect the brain's ability to communicate with the rest of your body. Brain injuries include hematomas, blood clots, contusions (bruising of brain tissue), cerebral edema (swelling inside the skull), concussions, and strokes.

A brain injury may lead to these symptoms: vomiting, nausea, speech difficulty, bleeding from the ear, numbness, paralysis, and memory loss.

Brain tumors

When tumors are formed in the brain, they are called primary brain tumors. In some cases, cancer may develop somewhere else in your body and spread to the brain. These types of brain tumors are secondary or metastatic brain tumors.

Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the symptoms may also vary. The most common symptoms of brain tumors include headaches, seizures, numbness, or tingling in your arms or legs, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty with movement or balance.

Neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the progressive and irreversible loss of neurons from specific regions of the brain. Common neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, all forms of dementia.

Neurodegenerative diseases can cause symptoms like memory loss, forgetfulness, apathy, anxiety, agitation, a loss of inhibition, mood changes, etc.

Mental disorders

Mental disorders, or mental illnesses, refer to a wide range of mental health conditions that affect your thinking, emotion or behavior. Examples of mental disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary based on the disorder. Some signs and symptoms of mental illnesses include:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Significant tiredness, low energy
  • Difficulty sleeping

A mental disorder may also lead to physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.

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