Why brain encephalopathy occurs: provoking factors and therapies


The violation is complex, develops gradually, has a negative impact on all spheres of human life. It is not possible to completely cure it, but on time, started treatment and prevention reduce the risk of complications.


Encephalopathy of the brain of complex genesis is understood as a pathological condition associated with the death of neurons and the destruction of connections between them. It occurs as a syndrome against the background of other pathologies, it is not an independent disease. Appears mainly in adults, but is found in children.

Sometimes the first signs appear immediately after birth. In this case, talking about congenital pathology. Residual encephalopathy develops during pregnancy or childbirth. Doctors can detect symptoms of a disorder from the 28th week of pregnancy. However, before the birth of the child, it is impossible to establish the presence of pathology.

The acquired disorder is characterized by the appearance of small foci of cell death, the disappearance of connections between them, edema and an increase in blood volume at a certain site, an increase in glial cells.

Encephalopathy of the brain is irreversible, but some violations can be corrected.

There are several types of acquired pathology, depending on the nature of the manifestations and causes:

Why brain encephalopathy occurs: provoking factors and therapies
  1. Traumatic. This form of pathology arises as a complication as a result of a craniocerebral injury at birth, in athletes, people affected by accidents.
  2. Vascular (circulatory). Angioencephalopathy develops due to impaired blood flow on the background of atherosclerotic plaques, persistent , thrombosis, stroke.
  3. Leucoencephalopathy. Occurs due to arterial hypertension and vascular lesions.
  4. Hypoxic (anoxic). Appears due to acute oxygen deficiency.
  5. Toxic. It develops due to poisoning of the body with , drugs, harmful and toxic substances. Intoxication can be short-term, harsh, strong or act for a long time.
  6. Dysmetabolic. Metabolism in diabetes, liver and kidney dysfunctions leads to its occurrence.
  7. Hypoglycemic. Occurs due to improper functioning of the pituitary and adrenal glands.
  8. Ray It is customary to talk about this form when ionic fluxes affected the human body for a long time.
  9. Hepatic. It develops due to liver disease. However, its consequences are associated with impaired intelligence, the emergence of emotional disorders, personality changes, typical of brain damage.


Different types of encephalopathy can be characterized by common and individual symptoms. Common ones include headaches, fatigue, weakness, lethargy, tinnitus, and pressure drops. They can join convulsive phenomena, coordination disorders of movement, vision, hearing, facial expressions. Memory, speed and quality of thinking are deteriorating, interests are narrowing. In some patients, there is an unreasonable good mood or, on the contrary, apathy, depression, frustration.

These symptoms occur at the first stage of development of the pathology – the stage of compensation, when organic damage is insignificant, and neighboring cells to some extent compensate for the functions of the affected areas.

At the stage of subcompensation, the pathology acquires a focal character, neighboring cells are affected. Symptoms appear more clearly and affect all spheres of a person’s personality. Headaches become unbearable and can end in fainting. Panic attacks, hallucinations, disturbances of consciousness arise. Intellectual abilities decrease, professional skills are lost, memory and speech deteriorate. There is a weakness of the muscles, their dystrophy, a staggering gait appears.

At the last stage, the stage of decompensation, there is a massive lesion of brain neurons, its atrophy. The processes at this stage are irreversible. Dementia, paralysis develops, a person loses self-care skills, and convulsive phenomena join.

Toxic encephalopathy

Most clearly manifested symptoms of toxic encephalopathy. Involuntary eye movements are detected in a patient, the face becomes numb, and limbs tremble. He is haunted by apathy, depression, nightmares, and hallucinations. There is a tendency to suicide.

Signs of mercury poisoning include sweeping tremors of the limbs, tachycardia, feverish glitter of the eyes, and later bloody stools. Lead intoxication is accompanied by a metallic taste in the mouth, vomiting and muscle weakness. Inhalation of manganese vapor leads to drowsiness and paralysis. Some metabolic disorders in the body cause hallucinations, lethargy and clinical death.

Posttraumatic encephalopathy

A feature of this type of pathology is a long latent period, and only with the passage of time are disorders of behavior, thinking, and memory loss. However, if the injury is severe, the manifestations become pronounced.


The first complaints are associated with increased fatigue, deterioration of attention, memory disorder. Later emotional disorders join, shuffling, staggering gait, mental disturbances attract attention. There are episodes of involuntary urination.

When checking reflexes, asymmetry is detected. Vascular encephalopathy of the third stage is accompanied by convulsive seizures, dementia, loss of self-care skills.

Congenital encephalopathy

Mild degree of perinatal disorder is characterized by increased excitability. The baby sleeps little, belches after feeding, sucks the breast badly, often crying, screaming, arching the back, throwing back the head, pulling the pupils.

The average degree is characterized by signs of depression of the . It is evidenced by a strong hysterical crying, a violation of sucking reflexes, difficulty in swallowing, a tremor, tense, hardly straightened arms and legs. You can notice swelling in the fontanelle, pallor of the skin, squint.

With severe, third-degree seizures, epileptic seizures appear, there are no reactions to external stimuli, coma.

The reasons

Whatever the nature of the pathology, congenital or acquired, the mechanism of its development is one. Under the influence of various factors, brain tissue damage occurs. The factors causing this process are:

  1. Hypoxia of the brain. Oxygen starvation leads to impaired blood circulation, causes an imbalance between the inflow and outflow of blood.
  2. Stroke. The outpouring of blood from the vessels into the brain cavity usually occurs in the elderly.
  3. Disruption of blood flow. Pathology is caused by arterial stenosis. Arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, osteochondrosis leads to it.
  4. Intoxication. Substances that cause poisoning, have an adverse effect on the metabolism of nerve tissue. This alcohol, gases, metabolic products, which are not excreted from the body in the usual way.
  5. Traumatic brain injury. This group of causes includes open fractures and concussion of the brain.
  6. Temporary respiratory arrest. It occurs as a result of operations, a pathological condition, or as a moment characterizing a particular disease, for example, bronchial asthma.
  7. Infectious diseases. The group of diseases that cause encephalopathy, include, for example, encephalitis, meningitis.
  8. Irradiation.

Congenital encephalopathy occurs because of the effect on the child during the prenatal period and during childbirth. Stress, emotional tension, anxiety, alcohol consumption are the causes that the expectant mother can prevent. Bad placental blood circulation, exacerbation of chronic diseases of various genesis, adherence of also leads to fetal brain disorders. These causes are controlled only by medication and not always successfully.

Congenital encephalopathy also develops with prolonged, rapid or premature birth, entanglement with the umbilical cord, a long anhydrous period.


To confirm the diagnosis is a comprehensive study. His goal is to clarify the signs and find the causes of pathology.

At the reception, a neuropathologist studies the history, conducts reflex testing, tests motor disturbances, memory, intellect, pays attention to the emotional state of the patient.

Blood pressure is necessarily measured, tests are prescribed. The lipid spectrum test allows you to identify the level of cholesterol, lipoproteins. Analyzes aimed at clarifying the metabolism indices show the content of glucose, lactic acid, electrolytes, certain enzymes, ammonia. The test for autoantibodies detects antibodies that can destroy neurons and lead to the development of dementia. If toxic encephalopathy is suspected, the presence of alcohol and drugs in the blood is checked.

Important role in the diagnosis of instrumental methods play:

  • Doppler ultrasound can detect structural changes in the brain. Using this method, a study of the vascular pattern is carried out, the characteristics of the blood vessel walls, their level of resistance, and the presence of stenosis are checked. Specifies the characteristics of blood flow, its direction, volume.
  • Electroencephalography reveals signs of epilepsy, neoplasms, head injuries, inflammatory diseases, vascular disorders.
  • Rheoencephalography shows elasticity, tone, vascular tissue resistance, the presence of blood clots, blood supply. It is used in case of suspected circulatory disorders, atherosclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, intoxication, vascular pathology.
  • The most accurate information about the features of anatomical and functional vascular disorders will provide angiography. It is prescribed when the doctor believes that the patient may have stenosis, blockage of blood vessels, tumors, aneurysm.
  • Computed tomography and MRI show the presence of tumors, signs of stroke, inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, vascular disorders.

Based on the collected data, the diagnosis is determined, therapy is prescribed.


Treatment methods depend on the reasons that caused the pathology. Held:

  • drug therapy;
  • physiotherapy treatment;
  • surgical intervention.

Cure encephalopathy is completely impossible, therapy is carried out for a long time.

In the toxic state, the leading role is played by the speedy cleansing of the body from toxins. In the future, vitamin complexes and drugs that stabilize blood circulation are prescribed.

The goal of therapy for vascular encephalopathy of the brain is to slow tissue necrosis, prevent hemorrhage and treat the underlying pathology. Therapy includes lowering agents, arresting the onset of atherosclerotic plaques, improving metabolism, and normalizing blood properties.

When leukoencephalopathy prescribed sedatives, drugs aimed at lowering blood pressure, improving the permeability of the vascular walls, blood flow, microcirculation. With multifocal pathology, the prognosis is poor.

Read also … Stages and symptoms of hypertensive encephalopathy: how not to be late with treatment

For the treatment of perinatal encephalopathy mainly used physical therapy, massage, physiotherapy. For older children, they use methods of pedagogical correction.

Physiotherapy techniques help normalize blood circulation. Used acupuncture, plasmapheresis, electrophoresis, electromagnetic stimulation, laser therapy.

Surgical intervention is indicated for some vascular diseases. The expansion of the constricted areas with the help of a catheter or balloon. In severe cases, bypass surgery is performed – the blood flow is directed around the damaged area.


In some cases, treatment is recommended to carry out folk remedies. Broths, infusions are used to reduce nervous tension and improve metabolic processes.

Tinctures and tinctures of clover are used for intoxication, increased cholesterol, blood pressure, blood flow disorders. To prepare the broth, two tablespoons of flowers are dipped in a container with warm water, steamed in a water bath for 15 minutes, filtered and cooled. Take before eating two tablespoons three times a day.

To treat high pressure helps clover broth, drunk at night. A teaspoon of the plant is boiled in 250 ml of water and infused for 1.5 hours.

In atherosclerosis, 2 tablespoons of the plant is poured with vodka (500 ml) and infused for 10 days. Drink before a meal one tablespoon 3 times a day for 3 months. Then they take a break for 6 months and repeat the course.

The effects of encephalopathy are reduced by an agent made from 1 tablespoon of onion juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. The ingredients are mixed and taken before meals.

Reduce pressure and improve sleep will help tincture of valerian roots. A tablespoon of the plant is poured boiling water and defend for 12 hours. Take 1 tablespoon up to 4 times a day for 2 months.


The leading role in prevention is played by timely diagnosis and the right treatment. It is important to refuse fatty, salty food, alcohol, if possible to exercise, walk in the fresh air.

Encephalopathy of the brain is accompanied by organic lesions that affect all spheres of human life. Despite the fact that the degenerative processes are irreversible, preventive measures and treatment started on time will help to maintain and restore health.

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