Related Conditions To Cerebral Edema
Evidence suggests that traumatic brain injury, one of the main causes of cerebral edema, puts people at a greater risk of Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia. TBI can affect a persons cognitive functioning, including thinking and learning.
According to the Alzheimers Association, older adults with a history of moderate traumatic brain injury have a 2.3 times greater risk of developing Alzheimers than those with no history of brain injury. Those with a severe TBI have a 4.5 times greater risk.
The Inflammation And The Major Depression Conundrum
Up until the past few years, inflammation was not a suspect the cause of the major depressive disorder. Viruses and bacteria were thought to only affect the body, not the mood. However, burgeoning research has found a direct link between inflammation caused by a viral or bacterial infection and life-changing and disabling disorders such as major depression.
In an article, published on the website Modern Medicine Network, Dr. Charles Raison, MD explains the connection between depression and severe mental health issues.
inflammation turned out to be a common denominator and likely risk factor for every manner of psychiatric disturbance, from schizophrenia to obsessive-compulsive disorder, from mania to depression
Dr. Raison goes on to explain that physicians and psychiatrists face a conundrum because while inflammation can be a cause for depression, it is not the only one. Also, in people who have a limited amount of inflammation but a great deal of depression, attempting to lower inflammation in their bodies makes matters worse for them.
Clearly, humanities old nemesis, major depression, is more complicated than someone having increased biomarkers for inflammation.
One possible answer for this conundrum is related to genetics. Some people are genetically engineered to respond badly to inflammation and others less so. This leads to folks having inflammation with some depression while others suffer major depressive episodes while their bodies and brains are inflamed.
Where Can I Get More Information
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:
Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
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Ways To Reduce Brain Swelling Naturally
Disclaimer: The following article is not, and should not be, considered medical advice. It does not replace the one-on-one relationship with your physician. The material in this article is for informational purposes only. As each individual situation is unique, you should use proper discretion, in consultation with a healthcare practitioner, before undertaking the protocols described below. The authors and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained below.
Before even considering how to treat brain swelling, it is important to understand that the underlying inflammation starts as a natural response to an injury or disease in the brain. Whether it is a traumatic brain injury , stroke or a viral brain infection like encephalitis, immune cells rush to the area to clear out dead cells and set the stage for tissue repair.
The problem arises when this rush of immune cells becomes incessant due to imbalances in the central nervous system , causing aberrant inflammation and intracranial pressure that prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching the brain. The question then becomes how can the healing characteristics of brain inflammation be balanced against these negative consequences.
Modes Of Transmission Of Viruses
Viruses spread by different means, and some are more infectious than others. Some of the modes of viral transmission include:
- coughs or sneezes from an infected person that release airborne viruses, which are then inhaled by others
- infected insects and animals, which can transfer some viruses directly into the bloodstream via their bite
- eating contaminated food or drink
- the transfer of some viruses can occur through touching an infected person
- there is evidence to suggest that some cases of viral encephalitis are caused by a dormant viral infection becoming active again.
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Why Does Brain Inflammation Happen
Its very important to know why your brain is inflamed because this will point you in the right direction to address it and relieve symptoms.
One of the more common causes of brain inflammation is an injury to the head. A brain injury causes the brains immune cells, which are different from those in the body, to begin the healing process and removal of dead and damaged neurons.
However, immune cells in the brain do not turn off, especially if there are already other imbalances in the body. This means inflammation in the brain can continue long after injury. This is one reason football players have brain-related issues long after they retire.
Other causes of brain inflammation include:
- Chronic inflammation in the body
- Leaky gut
- High blood sugar and diabetes
- Hormone imbalances
- Food intolerances
- Chronic stress
- Brain autoimmunity a disorder in which the immune system attacks and damages brain tissue. It is more common than people realize.
Eating A Mediterranean Diet
When it comes to reducing inflammation, lifestyle choices, like what you eat, matter. “If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils,” Dr. Sonpal says. “The science behind these foods is inherent to their antioxidant properties. Stress and inflammation lead to oxidative stress in our body. These foods combat that.”
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Brain Inflammation And Its Connection To Severe Mental Illness
In the last article, we began discussing how brain inflammation is indicated in the formation of severe mental illnesses. Today we are going to explore two major mental illnesses, major depression, and schizophrenia, and how brain inflammation has become implicated in their formation.
How Can I Protect My Head
To protect the brain, keep these tips in mind as you go about your daily activities:
- Use a helmet when biking, skating, playing contact sports, or performing other activities in which you might fall and hit your head.
- Wear seat belts properly when driving or riding in vehicles.
- Make sure you are doing all you can to control high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Avoid smoking.
- When traveling to high elevations, take your time — allow your body to adjust to the altitude.
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Can Meningitis And Encephalitis Be Prevented
People should avoid sharing food, utensils, glasses, and other objects with someone who may be exposed to or have the infection. People should wash their hands often with soap and rinse under running water.
Effective vaccines are available to prevent Haemophilus influenza, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis.
People who live, work, or go to school with someone who has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis may be asked to take antibiotics for a few days as a preventive measure.
To lessen the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito or other arthropod, people should limit outdoor activities at night, wear long-sleeved clothing when outdoors, use insect repellents that are most effective for that particular region of the country, and rid lawn and outdoor areas of free-standing pools of water, in which mosquitoes breed. Repellants should not be over-applied, particularly on young children and especially infants, as chemicals such as DEET may be absorbed through the skin.
Lessen Brain Inflammation With A Healthy Lifestyle
Besides food and supplements, there are many healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce inflammation.
Less than this can increase inflammation.
Less Artificial Light
Reduce your exposure to artificial light in the evening.
This will help you sleep better by enabling your body to produce melatonin.
Melatonin is best known as the bodys natural sleep hormone.
But it is also potently anti-inflammatory and is especially protective for the brain.
Interestingly, moderate exercise is preferable, since strenuous exercise can increase inflammation.
Take active measures to reduce stress which increases inflammatory cytokines.
Starting a yoga practice has been found to reduce stress and inflammation in as little as 10 days.
It has even been shown to alter the expression of genes, further reducing inflammatory activity.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The vagus nerve is the longest and most complex nerve in your body.
One of its many functions is to act as an on-off switch for inflammation.
You can strengthen the function of your vagus nerve with various mind-body activities such as singing, meditation, yoga, prayer, and cold showers.
And finally, bring more awe into your life.
Experiencing awe reduces levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Be amazed by the beauty of nature, the creation of art, or whatever else inspires a feeling of connection and wonder within you.
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You Feel More Down Than Usual
When your brain is inflamed you may also experience depression. Again, this type of inflammation is usually lifestyle-related. As Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist, Christina Tsiripidou tells Bustle, eating meals that are high in toxic protein or proteins that are genetically modified, and low in vegetables and healthy fats, can contribute to this. Not getting enough sleep and poor stress management skills can also have a way of making this worse.
What Is Encephalitis In Children
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. The inflammation causes the brain to swell. This leads to changes in a child’s nervous system that can include confusion, changes in alertness, and seizures. Meningitis often happens at the same time as encephalitis. Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Both are serious and life-threatening and need to be looked at and treated right away.
What Causes Meningitis And Encephalitis
Infectious causes of meningitis and encephalitis include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. For some individuals, environmental exposure , recent travel, or an immunocompromised state are important risk factors. There are also non-infectious causes such as autoimmune/rheumatological diseases and certain medications.
Bacterial meningitis is a rare but potentially fatal disease. Several types of bacteria can first cause an upper respiratory tract infection and then travel through the bloodstream to the brain. The disease can also occur when certain bacteria invade the meninges directly. Bacterial meningitis can cause stroke, hearing loss, and permanent brain damage.
Other forms of bacterial meningitis include Listeria monocytogenes meningitis Escherichia coli meningitis, which is most common in elderly adults and newborns and may be transmitted to a baby through the birth canal and Mycobacterium tuberculosis meningitis, a rare disease that occurs when the bacterium that causes tuberculosis attacks the meninges.
Fungal infections can affect the brain. The most common form of fungal meningitis is caused by the fungus cryptococcus neoformans . Cryptococcal meningitis mostly occurs in immunocompromised individuals such as those with AIDS but can also occur in healthy people. Some of these cases can be slow to develop and smolder for weeks. Although treatable, fungal meningitis often recurs in nearly half of affected persons.
Foods To Reduce Inflammation Of The Brain
In particular, salmon. Oily fish such as salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for proper brain health. Make sure you buy wild salmon where you can, as farmed salmon can often include high levels of mercury.
These tiny little seeds contain more omega-3 than any other plant-based food and can be sprinkled on breakfast cereals, added to smoothies and juices and even used in vegan baking as an egg substitute.
Avocados are packed with good fats, the monounsaturated fats associated with good heart health. These good fats also help regulate blood sugar levels, which if not controlled, can contribute to an unhealthy gut and rising levels of inflammation. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E which keeps the immune system healthy and helps protect brain cells.
Cacao is the raw form of chocolate before any of the fats and sugars have been added. Its full of brain-protecting antioxidants and flavanols, which help reduce inflammation. Its a little bitter, so the next best thing is very dark chocolate which has a slightly sweeter taste and still has the inflammation reducing properties.
Green Leafy Vegetables and Broccoli
Over the years, there have been many studies conducted into the health benefits of caffeine. Numerous studies have found that caffeine, in moderation, i.e. no more than a couple of cups of coffee a day, is linked to a reduced risk of brain inflammation-related conditions such as dementia.
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What To Remember Most About This Article:
Brain fog may be a familiar feeling. If youve ever had difficulty concentrating, struggled with poor memory, stammered when speaking, or noticed yourself processing information more slowly, you may have had a case of brain fog.
Brain fog is otherwise known as a leaky brain, or a sign of inflammation in the body. Inflammatory messages may be released in the brain as a result of head trauma, unregulated blood sugar, poor circulation, an inflamed gut, or chemical sensitivity.
Use these 4 tips to alleviate recurrent brain fog and take control of chronic inflammation:
When A Lumbar Puncture Can’t Be Used
A lumbar puncture may be used for diagnosis but cannot be performed if there is too much brain swelling because it could worsen the pressure in the brain and cause complications like brain herniation. Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure to watch out for include a headache, blurred vision, vomiting, behavioral changes, muscle weakness, and extreme drowsiness.
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Lab Tests For Inflammation
- The C-reactive protein test is the most decisive test for detecting inflammation. This simple blood test can reveal high levels of C-reactive protein CRP is produced by the liver in response to inflammation, infection and injury. It is available by fingerstick or blood draw.
- Food allergy testing can uncover immune responses which may point to inflammation.
You Experience Nausea Or Vomiting
Encephalitis can give you feelings of nausea, Dr. Dean says. The usual cause of this type of brain inflammation is a viral infection like the herpes simplex virus. In fact, brain inflammation due to herpes makes up 10 percent of all cases of encephalitis in the United States per year. Other symptoms include a stiff neck, drowsiness, and general weakness, so speak to your doctor if you notice any of these ailments.
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Brain Inflammation: Symptoms Causes How To Reduce It
Chronic brain inflammation is linked to depression and other cognitive and mental health problems. Specific anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes can help.
Inflammation is your bodys first line of defense against infection and injury.
This process normally shuts down after healing is complete.
But trouble starts when the inflammation process gets stuck on and doesnt know when to stop.
Then, inflammation can turn on your body, attacking healthy cells, blood vessels, and tissues instead of protecting them.
This is called chronic or systemic inflammation.
You can develop chronic inflammation anywhere in the body, including the brain.
Unlike the inflammation of an injury or arthritis, brain inflammation doesnt cause pain since the brain has no pain receptors.
But that doesnt mean its not there, causing hidden damage to your most vital organ.
What Else Can I Do To Make Daily Life A Little Easier
You can maximize your well-being by paying careful attention to:
- Nutrition: What you eat can affect how you feel. Make sure you are eating foods that have a lot of vitamins and nutrients. Meals should include fruits, grains, lean meats, vegetables and dairy products.
- Pacing: You may only be able to tolerate short periods of activity. Consider scheduling tasks on a calendar with rest periods before and after. This approach can help you avoid trying to do too much at once.
- Sleep: Its natural to feel tired while you are recovering. But lingering cognitive symptoms can also affect sleep quality. Following a consistent nighttime schedule and relaxing before bedtime can help.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Encephalitis is a brain infection that requires care in a hospital. After the infection goes away, you may experience lingering symptoms that affect brain functioning. Achieving your full recovery potential takes time. In some cases, months or years. Rehabilitation and good self-care can maximize your abilities and quality of life.