Encephalopathy of the brain: what it is, treatment
Encephalopathy of the brain frequently concomitant diagnosis in patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors. Despite its unoriginality, the pathology may lead to irreversible changes in the brain and cause effects that complicate or disrupt the patient’s life. The reasons for the development of this pathology is varied, so doctors and patients need to carefully approach the prevention of this disease.
Encephalopathy. What is it?
Literally, it means «the pathology of the brain.» To this disease can be attributed to any non-inflammatory changes in brain tissue, leading to changes in body functions of the patient. The most common cause of encephalopathy is a disturbance of blood flow to the brain cells. It can occur as a result of spasm of small vessels of the brain or to blockage of their blood clot. The result is oxygen starvation is the depletion of the brain, and develops encephalopathy. Other reasons may be infections, injuries, diseases of internal organs, starvation and neoplasms.
The classification of encephalopathy according to the cause
- Hypoxic or anoxic, when the brain cells not getting enough oxygen and nutrients (can occur with low blood pressure).
- Infectious encephalopathy occurs as a result of various infections (HIV, tetanus, rabies). Rare and particularly dangerous type is a spongiform encephalopathy caused by the causative agent of «mad cow»disease.
- Toxic pathology of the brain occurs as a result of poisoning by chemical substances (alcohol, methyl lead).
- Bilirubin – diseases of the brain, caused by toxic action of bilirubin. This happens when excess in the blood during jaundice. Bilirubin penetrates the brain tissue and poisoning them.
- Atherosclerotic encephalopathy occurs when the deposition of cholesterol plaques on the walls of cerebral vessels, leading to narrowing of the blood vessels and oxygen starvation of tissues.
- Congenital (prenatal or perinatal encephalopathy) is a form of that develops in the newborn as a result of insufficient oxygen supply to the brain of the fetus during pregnancy or childbirth. This includes mitochondrial encephalopathy, which develops as a result of congenital abnormalities of mitochondria (organelles of brain cells).
- Encephalopathy pregnant is probably not a pathology but a natural process in the body of a pregnant women resulting from hormonal changes.
- Posttraumatic encephalopathy develops on the background of open or closed brain injury, spinal injury or polytrauma.
- Dysmetabolic encephalopathy is a pathology of the brain, which is caused by the disturbed metabolic processes in the human body. They occur usually as a result of diseases of internal organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas). Refers to this and diabetic encephalopathy (diabetes mellitus).
- Epileptic encephalopathy is a special kind of pathology that occurs in children at an early age and characterized by the occurrence of high epiactivity in the brain, sometimes with seizures or epilepsy. Is the result of disorders of brain formation.
It is also found unspecified encephalopathy, when the cause is not clear, and encephalopathy combined origins when in the development of pathology is a few reasons. The nature of occurrence of there are acute and chronic encephalopathy (e.g., chronic encephalopathy of boxers).
Signs and symptoms of encephalopathy in adults
The disease can be divided into several stages, each characterized by certain manifestations:
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Symptoms of encephalopathy in children
Perinatal encephalopathy in its manifestations can be divided into two syndromes: increased excitability (hyperexcitability) of the nervous system and oppression of the nervous system. The syndrome of hyperexcitability in children can manifest itself:
- increased muscle tone (hands in fists, arms and legs pressed against the body);
- spasm of smooth muscles of internal organs (vomiting, constipation);
- tremor (shaking of the hands, lips, chin);
- increased reflex activity of the child or the emergence of pathological reflexes of newborns;
- sleep disorders (the child sleeps restlessly, wakes up often, winces in her sleep).
The syndrome of depression of the nervous system:
- the hypotonia of skeletal muscles (limbs are weak, the child cannot imagine that the finger of an adult for a long time without holding the head);
- the hypotonia of the smooth muscles of internal organs (constipation, flatulence);
- the lethargy, the sleepiness of the child;
- depression of tendon reflexes.
Treatment of encephalopathy
The main step in the treatment of encephalopathy should be the treatment of the disease, which led to it. Prescribers, stabilizing blood pressure, normalizerbase the function of internal organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas). Normal hormonal background of the patient. All other directions in the treatment (including folk remedies) are only a Supplement to main treatment.