Brain atrophy: What are the signs?

Brain atrophy can develop in the small regions of the brain or involve both hemispheres. An individual with a shrunken brain might have issues with the cognitive functions such as memory and language. Due to the destruction of the brain tissue, the changes that occur are permanent.

Aphasia

Aphasia affects the language skill of the individual. There are 3 types of aphasia that can occur – Broca’s aphasia, Wernicke’s aphasia and global aphasia.

  • Broca’s aphasia – non-sensical speech where the individual could not generate actual words easily. This stems from damage to the frontal lobe which is the anterior part of the brain. An individual speaks in short phrases and has difficulty speaking.
    brain-atrophy

    During an episode, there is an alteration in the level of consciousness that range from a staring episode to full loss of consciousness.

  • Wernicke’s aphasia – this stems from damage to the temporal lobe which is a region of the brain near the ears. The individual can still speak but understanding of speech is affected. The individual produces non-logical speech, typically voiced out in long sentences.
  • Global – there is damage on both areas of the brain which results to significant issues with comprehension and speaking.

Seizures

Seizures can also arise if brain atrophy is present. A seizure occurs if the electrical activity in the brain is disrupted. In some cases, a metallic taste is present before the start of an episode.

During an episode, there is an alteration in the level of consciousness that range from a staring episode to full loss of consciousness. If the individual ends up with loss of consciousness, confusion or brief loss of memory can occur. There is also loss of muscular control and some might experience twitching. In addition, alterations in emotion such as sudden joy or panic can also occur.

Dementia

Even though dementia causes brain atrophy, it is also a sign. It is important to note that dementia can cause issues with language, memory and personality. In most cases, the individual has issues with recalling memories and creating new ones that can affect their learning abilities. Additionally, the condition also causes poor judgement.

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