What are brain disorders?

Your brain is your body’s control center. It’s part of the nervous system, which also includes the spinal cord and a large network of nerves and neurons. Together, the nervous system controls everything from your senses to the muscles throughout your body. When your brain is damaged, it can affect many different things, including your memory, your sensation, and even your personality. Brain disorders include any conditions or disabilities that affect your brain. This includes conditions that are caused by:

    • illness
    • genetics
    • traumatic injury

What are the different types of brain disorders?

Symptoms and signs of cancer depend on the type of cancer, where it is located, and/or where the cancer cells have spread. For example, breast cancer may present as a lump in the breast or as nipple discharge while metastatic breast cancer may present with symptoms of pain (if spread to bones), extreme fatigue (lungs), or seizures (brain). A few patients show no signs or symptoms until the cancer is far advanced.

  1. Brain injuries

    Brain injuries are often caused by blunt trauma. Trauma can damage brain tissue, neurons, and nerves. This damage affects your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body. Examples of brain injuries include:

    • hematomas
    • blood clots
    • contusions, or bruising of brain tissue
    • cerebral edema, or swelling inside the skull
    • concussions
    • strokes
  2. Brain tumors

    Sometimes, tumors form in the brain and can be very dangerous. These are called primary brain tumors. In other cases, cancer somewhere else in your body spreads to your brain. These are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors. Brain tumors can be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). Doctors classify brain tumors as grades 1, 2, 3, or 4. Higher numbers indicate more aggressive tumors. The cause of brain tumors is largely unknown. They can occur in people of any age. Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the size and location of the tumor. The most common symptoms of brain tumors are:

    • headaches
    • seizures
    • numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • changes in personality
  3. Neurodegenerative diseases

    Neurodegenerative diseases cause your brain and nerves to deteriorate over time. They can change your personality and cause confusion. They can also destroy your brain’s tissue and nerves. Some brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may develop as you age. They can slowly impair your memory and thought processes. Other diseases, such as Tay-Sachs disease, are genetic and begin at an early age. Other common neurodegenerative diseases include:

    • Huntington’s disease
    • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Some of the more common symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases include:

    • memory loss
    • forgetfulness
    • apathy
    • anxiety
    • agitation
    • a loss of inhibition
  4. Mental disorders

    Mental disorders, or mental illnesses, are a large and diverse group of conditions that affect your behavior patterns. Some of the most frequently diagnosed mental disorders are:

    • depression
    • anxiety
    • bipolar disorder
    • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • schizophrenia