Brain's Big Problems
By Emma A.
The brain is very fragile. It controls everything you do, see, and feel. Disorders can change everything in an instant. These stories are realistic fiction, and are used as examples.
The Stroke- Problem # 1
Sally Dorfman at age 48 had a stroke. Now this stroke was no mini stroke, it was a deadly Hemorrhagic Stroke. She knew she had been hit by a stroke when she had a hard time speaking; a hard time understanding speech, and the left side of her body became instantly paralyzed. Sally’s husband had noticed her strange behavior, and decided to take her to the hospital.
When they arrived the nurses were reluctant to have her wait. They whisked Sally off with a blink of an eye. The doctor ordered emergency surgery where he administered TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) which if administrated within three hours can reduce post stroke disability. A stroke is when a clot of blood gets stuck in an artery, therefore stopping blood from reaching the brain. This was a serious problem, because the brain controls everything! As Sally was zoomed away to the surgery room, another nurse wanted to inform Sally’s husband what was going on, and the importance of understanding Sally’s stroke.
The first thing the nurse wanted to educate Mr. Dorfman about was the Circle of Willis. The Circle of Willis is where the three largest arteries connect to one another. These arteries are where the stroke attacks. It is also where the brain gets its blood to and from other parts of the brain. Understanding this, Mr. Dorfman understood part of the urgency of getting Sally’s brain back on track.
But what he didn’t understand was why his wife sally had the stroke. To him, she was perfectly healthy. So the nurse replied, “Your wife was pretty healthy overall. But her years of smoking and her diet choices were what caused an inflammation in the Circle of Willis.” Strokes are often caused by inflammation. When the artery inflates, the cells in the body have an odd reaction. The cells try and reduce the inflammation, thereby causing a blood clot.
Most family members wonder why the Hemorrhagic Stroke can’t be treated by using prescribed drugs. Well the simple explanation is that this type of stroke will not be affected by the drugs. Only Ischemic strokes are treated with prescribed drugs. The only Natural prevention doctors have for strokes as of now is healthy eating, lots of exercise, and reducing use of drugs and alcohol.
Autoimmune disorders cause the immune system to attack itself weakening the body.
Multiple Sclerosis- Problem # 2
John Smith was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 45. There are many diseases that could have caused this unfortunate disaster. The most common are Autoimmune disorders. Now Multiple Sclerosis (or MS) is not like the flu, you can’t catch it and it’s not contagious. But Autoimmune disorders weaken the body so it does not have as strong a fighting chance to withstand attacks on the immune system.
Multiple Sclerosis is often time passed down through genes in the body. But that doesn’t mean that the parents had Multiple Sclerosis. Sometimes, the disease isn’t strong enough to show through on tests. Or its possible modern day flu vaccines kill off weak and sick cells before anything bad happens. 30% of identical twins who share the same egg will develop MS. Less than 5% of fraternal twins who don’t share the same egg have a shared rate of developing MS at an early age.
This makes sense because early in life John’s fraternal twin brother, Adam developed MS. John immediately took himself to the nearest hospital. When he got there, he had to describe to the doctor what was happening.
He was having intense chronic pain, twitchy and numb disturbances in the arms and legs, and his balance and walking became uncoordinated.
When the doctor diagnosed John, they were in no hurry. Multiple Sclerosis is not a deadly disease, but disabilitating condition. Therefore it can be treated by prescribed drugs.
Huntington’s Disease- Problem # 3
Sitting in the hospital was the mother of Kim Dawson. As she tensed by the minute the doctor finally arrived with her screaming baby. Kim (the baby) had to have a spinal tap because she was experiencing many symptoms. A spinal tap is when the doctor or nurse sticks a thin needle into the patient, removing fluid for accurate medical test results. The doctor was ready to share the spinal tap results, “I’m sorry to say Mrs. Dawson, but your baby has developed Huntington’s disease. But there is also good news; HD also fades away like a cold. So this is only temporary.”
The doctor took a blood test on both parents of Kim because neither confessed to having had HD. The test results showed that the father also had developing HD cells. Also known as Chromosome 4 cells. Some symptoms include memory problems, and abnormal body positions which were settling into Mr. Dawson. But poor Kim, even though she developed HD first, the cells (being passed on through genes) would grow stronger as they got passed down. Meaning Kim would experience HD longer.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Dawson were wondering about certain treatments to symptoms and the chromosome cells. The doctor informed them that there are no proven treatment outlooks to treat HD. But there is also no treatment to treat the progression and development either. Meaning the doctor had no treatment for the Dawson’s. “I would recommend that you stay away from medicine such as pain relievers and anesthesia, for the chemicals inside the drugs strengthen HD. So be careful because your brain is the most important, yet fragile part of your body. “
Brain Tumors- Problem # 4
Logan Izeinhower was diagnosed with a brain tumor around the age of 20. Though there are eight types of tumors, Logan came up with only one. The Oligodendrogliomas tumor. This tumor fits into a category with some of the most deadly tumors ever know. Doctors named this category after its creator Dr. Gliomas. Dr. Gliomas put these tumors together not by their ranking in deadliness, but in their size. The size and location of the tumor gave away the type. This tumor occurred in the frontal lobe.
Logan fit the profile for this tumor perfectly. Oligodendrogliomas tumors usually happen to men between the ages of 20-40 but can occasionally happen to children. But only 2% of brain tumors diagnosed each year is an Oligodendrogliomas tumor.
The most common symptoms are;
· Headache and regular dizzy spells
· Numbness and tingling in upper limbs
· Balance and coordination problems
· Difficulty hearing
· Occasional seizures
But tumors are treated by level of severity. Meaning low level tumors will usually be watched closely but not acted upon. But high level tumors will either be surgically removed or treated with radiation therapy and even chemotherapy!
These are only four of the brain disorders that can affect your fragile brain in many ways. These diseases can cause harm to your everyday movements and conversations. You know that your brain controls everything, but diseases like these can start to control your brain.
Hains, Bryan. Brain Disorder. New York: Info, 2006. Print.
"Know the Top 10 Risks for Strokes." Men's Health Dec. 2012: 4. Print.
Morgan, Jennifer. Cells of the Nervous System. Philladelphia: Chelsea House, 2006. Print.
Parks, Peggy J. Brain Tumors. San Diego: Reference Point, 2011. Print.