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.
Generalized symptoms of cerebral atrophy
Generalized symptoms of cerebral atrophy arise from loss of brain cells throughout the brain. You may experience cerebral atrophy symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these symptoms can be severe:
- Changes in mood, personality or behavior
- Difficulty with judgment or abstract thinking
- Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
- Learning impairments
Localized symptoms of cerebral atrophy
If cerebral atrophy arises from loss of brain cells in a specific area of the brain, you may have localized symptoms including:
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty producing or understanding speech (aphasia)
- Impaired balance and coordination
- Localized weakness, loss of sensation, or paralysis
Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition
In some cases, cerebral atrophy can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:
- Being a danger to oneself or others, including behavior that is threatening, irrational or suicidal
- Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
- Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
- Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain
What is cerebral atrophy?
Cerebral atrophy refers to the progressive 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.
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 atrophyDeath of brain cells may occur as a result of injury to the brain including:
- Traumatic brain injury
Diseases that may cause cerebral atrophyCerebral atrophy may... Read more about cerebral atrophycauses
How is cerebral atrophy treated?
There is no cure for cerebral atrophy. Once brain cells have been lost, the damage is permanent. Treatment for cerebral atrophy focuses on treating the symptoms and complications of cerebral atrophy.