Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumors and Other Disorders
While there are between 1.5 and 2 million head injuries each year in the U.S., traumatic brain injuries are not the only cause of brain disorders. A brain disorder may be the result of a stroke, a viral infection, cancer, tumors, disease or an inherited condition. Anything which leads to inflammation or swelling in the brain’s tissue or results in changes to the brain’s electrical pathways may cause a serious brain disorder.
It is important to observe and detect the signs and symptoms of a brain disorder or tumor, as early treatment of the condition is often critical. As a condition advances, the less chance there is of being able to reverse the symptoms or slow the progression of an incurable disease.
Symptoms of a Potential Brain Disorder or Tumor
The cause of a brain disorder, whether from a physical blow, a viral infection or a cancerous tumor, will determine the symptoms a victim may experience. Some disorders can affect mobility and thought processes, while others may affect behavior. The location of a brain tumor will often dictate the symptoms, however some tumors can present broader, more generalized symptoms.
In addition to brain injuries caused by head trauma, here are some other common types of brain disorders, along with the symptoms each condition may present:
Stroke – When an individual has a stroke it can result in the brain becoming oxygen-deprived or cut off from much-needed nutrients. If this happens, damage to the brain could have a negative impact on the victim’s behavior, as well as affecting mobility and the function of body systems. Signs you may be having a stroke include numbness or droopiness on one side of the face, arm weakness or numbness, as well as slurred speech or other speech difficulties. If you see the signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Infections – Infections can lead to meningitis, which is an inflammation of the lining around either the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis are characterized by headaches, fever, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, extreme discomfort in bright lights, excessive drowsiness, joint pain and overall confusion. Encephalitis and brain abscesses are other types of brain diseases caused by infection.
Tumors – Depending on the location of a brain tumor, an individual will either experience more generalized symptoms or symptoms directly related to the affected part of the brain. General symptoms of a brain tumor may include: headaches, seizures, memory problems, personality changes, nausea, vomiting or overall fatigue. Symptoms specific to the tumor’s location may include:
- Tumor at any location: localized pressure or pain near the tumor.
- Tumor in the cerebellum: loss of balance, problems with fine motor skills.
- Tumor in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum: changes in judgment, sluggishness, muscle weakness or paralysis, loss of initiative.
- Tumor in the occipital or temporal lobe of the cerebrum: visual impairment or loss of vision.
- Tumor in the frontal or temporal lobe of the cerebrum: changes in speech, hearing, memory, aggressive behavior, difficulty with comprehension, trouble coming up with the right words or changes in one’s emotional state.
- Tumor in the frontal of parietal lobe of the cerebrum: weakness in the arm or leg along one side of the body, confusion between the left and right side of the body, or altered perception as it pertains to pressure or touch.
- Pineal gland tumor: inability to look upward.
- Pituitary tumor: lactation, altered menstrual periods, or adults experiencing growth in hands and feet.
- Tumor along the brain stem: double vision, facial weakness or numbness, or problems swallowing.
- Tumor in the temporal lobe, occipital lobe or brain stem: double vision, a partial loss of vision or any other changes in vision.
Seizures – Epilepsy is a brain disorder which causes recurring seizures as a result of abnormal and often excessive electrical brain activity. In some instances epilepsy can be brought about by a head injury, infection, stroke or other disorder. Epileptic seizures can also cause strange sensations, odd behavior, convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness. Lack of sleep, extreme stress, consumption of alcohol and hormonal changes can all trigger epileptic seizures. If you feel an unusual tingling, sudden and inexplicable emotions, nausea or hallucinations, it could be a sign of an impending seizure.
Autoimmune conditions or degenerative diseases – There are numerous degenerative diseases, some of which have the ability to impair memory and leave a person in a temporary or permanent state of confusion. Others can lead to changes in behavior, personality, emotional state, physical capabilities and other problems. Almost all will eventually cause permanent and irreversible damage to the brain’s tissue and nerves. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, dementia and Tay-Sachs disease are only a few examples of diseases which affect brain health.
What to Do If You Suspect a Brain Disorder
The first thing you should do if you suspect you have a brain disorder is seek medical attention. Go to your personal physician or meet with a specialist so you can have your condition assessed through testing, get the correct diagnosis and start treatment. If the condition is the result of an act of negligence that caused an accident, such as a car accident or a slip-and-fall accident, contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney at Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP. You may be eligible to pursue compensation for the injuries you sustained.
We provide free case reviews to personal injury victims. Call us at 401-443-2999 or fill out a contact form to set up a free legal consultation. We have four offices located in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket to easily serve you