What causes cerebral atrophy?
Cerebral atrophy can arise from many diseases of the brain, injury to the brain, or infection of the brain.
Injury causes of cerebral atrophy
Death of brain cells may occur as a result of injury to the brain including:
- Traumatic brain injury
Diseases that may cause cerebral atrophy
Cerebral atrophy may also occur due a variety of genetic or developmental disorders including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cerebral palsy (group of disorders affecting movement, balance, and posture)
- Huntington’s disease (genetic disorder causing degeneration of nerve cells in the brain)
- Leukodystrophysies (diseases damaging the protective material around nerve cells)
- Multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems)
- Pick’s disease (form of dementia that affects only certain areas of the brain)
Infectious causes of cerebral atrophy
Cerebral atrophy can also result from infection of the brain including:
- Encephalitis (inflammation and swelling of the brain due to a viral infection or other causes)
- Syphilis (sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria)
What are the risk factors for cerebral atrophy?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing cerebral atrophy. Not all people with risk factors will get cerebral atrophy. Risk factors for cerebral atrophy include:
- Advanced age
- Brain injury
- Family history of Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or similar neurological disorders
- Family history of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis
- Head injury
Reducing your risk of cerebral atrophy
While cerebral atrophy is not necessarily preventable, a healthy lifestyle may help slow the progression of atrophy and reduce the severity of symptoms. Healthy lifestyle factors that may reduce your chance of severe cerebral atrophy include:
- Controlling blood pressure
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet, including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant fruits and vegetables
- Staying mentally, physically and socially active
What is cerebral atrophy?
Cerebral atrophy refers to the loss of brain cells over time. Atrophy refers to a decreased size or wasting away of any part of the body. Cerebral atrophy can happen in either the entire brain or in just one part of the brain and can lead to decreased brain mass and loss of neurological function. The symptoms of cerebral atrophy depend on the cause and location of cell death.... Read more about cerebral atrophy introduction
What are the symptoms of cerebral atrophy?
Symptoms of cerebral atrophy can be generalized (affecting the whole brain) or localized (affecting only one part of the brain or one function). Generalized symptoms include symptoms of dementia, such as problems with memory or changes in personality. Localized symptoms include seizures and problems with speech, vision or movement.... Read more about cerebral atrophy symptoms