Acquired brain injuries: its 3 main causes

Know the causes that damage the brain and behavioral consequences are vital in the study of neuropsychology. Thanks to the emergence of functional and structural neuroimaging techniques, it has been possible to study damaged brain structures from the moment of injury, as well as their subsequent evolution.

In addition, in most cases, there are physical, cognitive and emotional sequelae which end up generating some kind of disability.

Causes of acquired brain damage in adults

In adults, highlight the following causes of acquired brain damage (DCA).

1. Strokes

Strokes are differentiated into two subtypes: ischemic and hemorrhagic., The former being more frequent. Ischemic strokes are characterized by a disruption in blood flow to a particular area of ​​the brain that prevents the delivery of oxygen and glucose, resulting in a heart attack. Three main causes are distinguished:

  • thrombosis. It is the most common cause of heart attack and its origin is the obstruction of an artery due to the formation of a clot or a fat pad.
  • embolism. It is based on the obstruction of an artery following a clot that is dragged from its point of origin. To learn more about this phenomenon, you can read this article.
  • aneurysm. It occurs when an artery dilates due to the weakness of its walls, giving the appearance of an expanding balloon.

On the other hand, hemorrhagic strokes stand out, based on bloodshed due to ruptured arteries, Highlighting intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhages.

2. Cranioencephalic trauma

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in young people. Brain injuries are generated as a result of external agents such as traffic accidents, falls, accidents at work, etc.

Open TCEs are caused by brain damage resulting from head trauma or fractures involving the brain, although they generally do not affect the state of consciousness.

In turn, closed cranioencephalic trauma they are usually accompanied by coma, Mainly derived from traffic accidents. It is distinguished in these cases the contusion with small hemorrhages in superficial glasses as the main damage, which can also give axonal damage with the consequent loss of myelin which can cause deficits in attention, memory and the treatment of l information, in particular when the lobes involved are the frontal and temporal.

    3. Tumors

    Tumors are expansive processes that can originate from anywhere in the brain. These are divided into primary, cannot originate from the brain itself, or secondary, when they originate from metastasis from other areas of the body. The danger depends on its ability to infiltrate the organ and its ability to proliferate.

    The most common are gliomas, Derived from glial cells like astrocytes, being the most deadly polymorphic glioblastoma because it has to invade brain tissue quickly, so once diagnosed it is usually too late to make a good treatment.

    How does it intervene medically?

    Identify risk factors for brain damage it is of vital importance for primary prevention, the main ones being age, genetic vulnerability and previous vascular disease, as well as the presence of heart disease, hypertension, obesity and drug addiction, among others.

    The prognosis will depend in any case on the age of the patient, as well as the extension and the area of ​​the brain. affected. In the event of a stroke, treatment must be very rapid, otherwise it may worsen and produce serious sequelae, so in addition to administering drugs that reduce blood pressure, it is often necessary to resort to intervention. surgery to reduce bleeding.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Bilder, RM (2011). Neuropsychology 3.0: Evidence-Based Science and Practice. J Int Neuropsychol Soc nº 17.
    • Maas S .; Strocchetti N, Bullock R. (2008). Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury in adults. Lancet Neurol.

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