• Acoustic Neuroma
    This growth is a benign tumor that forms on the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve leads from the inner ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas usually grow slowly and do not spread. However, they can eventually grow so large that they press against surrounding structures, including the brain and other nerves.
  • Alzheimer's Disease
    This is a degenerative disease that affects the brain. It's the most common form of dementia. It generally affects people aged 65 years or older. But in a small percentage of people, it develops earlier.
  • Anatomy of the Brain
    "The brain is the control center of the human body. It forms your thoughts and preserves your memories. It regulates your body's actions, from the movements you choose to perform to the functions you don't even consciously think about. Let's take a closer look at the anatomy and the function of the brain. "
  • Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
    This is an abnormal connection between blood vessels. It happens when arteries connect directly to veins without first sending blood through tiny capillaries. An AVM can look like a tangle of blood vessels. They form anywhere in your body, but most often they form in or around the brain and along the spinal cord.
  • Astrocytoma
    This is a tumor that begins in a brain cell called an "astrocyte." These cells help give your brain its structure. An astrocytoma can form in your brain, in your brain stem or in your spinal cord. There are many types of astrocytomas. They can be cancerous or noncancerous. They can grow slowly or quickly. A doctor can figure out the specific type you have.
  • Blepharospasm
    This brain disorder causes eyelid twitching or blinking that you can't control. It may start as minor twitching, but it can get worse over time. It may interfere with driving and other daily activities.
  • Brain Abscess
    This is a pocket of pus in your brain. Tissue has grown around it, walling it off from the rest of your body. The mass is filled with white blood cells, dead tissue and germs. It can grow and press harmfully against your brain, causing a medical emergency.
  • Brain Aneurysm
    This condition is a bulge that forms in the wall of a weakened artery in the brain. This bulge can leak or rupture, causing a stroke. An aneurysm can be life-threatening.
  • Brain Tumor (Overview)
    This is a mass of abnormal cells. It may be inside your brain, or it may be next to your brain. It can grow and press harmfully against healthy brain tissue. This can cause a wide range of problems throughout your body. A brain tumor can severely impact your life.
  • Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM)
    This is a mass of enlarged blood vessels in your brain or spinal cord. Pockets in the mass slow down or even trap blood. This can lead to blood clots, or to a leaking of blood we call a "hemorrhage."
  • Chiari Malformation (CM)
    This is a structural problem with the back of the brain. It involves the cerebellum. That's the part of your brain that controls balance. Normally, the cerebellum sits in a space at the base of the skull. It's just above the opening to the spinal canal, called the "foramen magnum." With Chiari malformation, the cerebellum slips down through this opening.
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)
    This is a speech disorder. It involves the brain and the muscles that control speech. With this disorder, it's hard to make the muscle movements needed for speaking.
  • Chronic Subdural Hematoma (Hemorrhage)
    This condition is a buildup of clotted blood between the brain's outer layer and the membrane that covers the brain (called the dura). It usually occurs in the elderly, and can be caused by even a minor bump to the head.
  • Cluster Headaches
    These are intensely painful headaches that come in patterns or clusters. You can have them regularly over weeks or months. They may stop for months or years, and then return again.
  • Coma
    This is a deep state of unconsciousness. When a person is in a coma, their brain is alive, but you can't wake them up. They can't move voluntarily, or consciously respond to things around them.
  • Concussion
    This is a serious brain injury. It happens when your brain bumps back and forth violently inside your skull. A concussion can affect the way your brain functions. It can cause permanent problems.
  • Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)
    This brain disorder affects cells in the brain's frontal and temporal lobes. It causes brain cells to die, and the lobes to shrink. This affects your memory, thinking and behavior. And, this disorder gets worse over time.
  • Dyslexia
    This is a learning disorder. It's linked to the parts of the brain that process language. With dyslexia, you may have trouble with reading and writing. You may have trouble understanding words you hear. Pronouncing words may be hard. This causes problems in school and work. It can make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Epilepsy
    This is a problem with the electrical activity of your brain's nerve cells. These cells are called "neurons." With epilepsy, they sometimes send out disorganized signals. When this happens, you can suddenly lose control of your body for a brief time. There may be a change in how you act or feel. We call this a "seizure."
  • Essential Tremor (ET)
    This is a form of shaking you can't control. Often, we see it in the hands. It can make it hard for you to do everyday tasks like writing, typing, eating, and fixing small things. Essential tremor is most common in people age 40 and older, but it can affect you at any age.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)
    This is the name we give to a group of disorders that affect the brain's frontal and temporal lobes. With this type of dementia, nerve cells in these lobes become damaged, which causes the lobes to shrink. This causes profound changes in the way a person thinks and behaves. And it gets worse over time.
  • How Your Brain Changes With Age
    Like every part of your body, your brain changes as you age. And some changes affect how you think. Let's look at what's normal, and let's talk about things that may be cause for concern.
  • Hydrocephalus
    This condition is caused by an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid (commonly called CSF) in the brain's ventricles. The ventricles are a system of large, fluid-filled open spaces inside the brain. Too much CSF in the ventricles can elevate pressure in the skull. It can damage delicate brain tissue.
  • Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH)
    This is bleeding that happens inside your brain. Most often, it's a rupture of tiny arteries in your brain. It can happen deep within the brain, or near the brain's surface. It leads to stroke and to a dangerous buildup of pressure in the brain.
  • Left Brain Stroke
    Your brain is divided into left and right halves, called "hemispheres." They specialize in different things. Because of this, a stroke on the left side of your brain can be very different from a stroke on the brain's right side. Let's look at some symptoms of a left brain stroke.
  • Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
    This is a brain disease caused by an abnormal buildup of protein deposits in the brain. These deposits are called "Lewy bodies." They affect your brain's chemicals. This interferes with your mind and body.
  • Meningioma
    This is a tumor in your meninges. These thin layers of protective tissue surround your brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are not cancerous. They usually grow slowly.
  • Meningitis
    This is a swelling of thin membranes called the "meninges." These three layers of tissue cover and protect your brain and your spinal cord. Meningitis is a serious condition. It can be life threatening.
  • Metastatic Brain Tumor
    This is a cancer that began elsewhere in your body and then spread to your brain, forming one or more tumors. Many different cancers can spread this way. These tumors are actually more common than tumors that begin in the brain's own tissues.
  • Migraine Headaches
    A migraine is an intense, throbbing headache that may be accompanied by nausea or dizziness. A migraine can last from hours to days.
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
    As you get older, you may notice that you forget things more often than you used to. This is a normal part of aging. But some older people have memory and thinking problems that aren't just forgetfulness. We call this "MCI." With MCI, you can still take care of yourself and do normal activities. But the changes in your brain may worry you.
  • Mini-Stroke Warning Signs (Transient Ischemic Attack; TIA)
    You can have a stroke that lasts for only a few minutes and then seems to go away. We call that a "mini-stroke." It happens when part of your brain's blood supply is blocked for a short time. But even if your symptoms disappear, a mini-stroke is a dangerous event. You need to seek help right away.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
    This is a disease of your brain and spinal cord. MS causes the thin layer of tissue that protects your nerve cells (called the "myelin sheath") to become damaged. This makes it hard for signals to travel between your brain and your body. Signals can slow down, or they can be blocked completely. This can cause a wide range of problems.
  • Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
    Every day your body does many complex things, like breathing and digesting food, that you don't have to consciously think about. These functions are controlled by your autonomic nervous system. Multiple system atrophy (we call it "MSA") is a brain disorder that affects this system. It causes a wide range of serious problems throughout your body. And, it gets worse over time.
  • Myelopathy
    This is a problem that affects your spinal cord. It happens when something presses harmfully against it. Your spinal cord is the main nerve pathway between your brain and your body. Pressure on it can cause problems throughout your body.
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
    This condition, which usually occurs in adults 55 and older, is an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain. The ventricles are a system of large, fluid-filled open spaces inside the brain. Too much CSF in the ventricles can distort the brain's shape. It can make the brain susceptible to injury.
  • Occipital Neuralgia (Arnold's Neuralgia)
    This condition is a distinct type of headache caused by irritation or injury of the occipital nerves. These nerves travel from the base of the skull through the scalp. This condition can result in severe pain and muscle spasms.
  • Parkinson's Disease (PD)
    This is a disorder of the nervous system. It affects movement, and it can interfere with your speech. It can severely impair your daily activities. Parkinson's is most common in people age 50 or older. It is more common in men.
  • Pituitary Tumor
    Your pituitary gland is found just under your brain. This pea-sized gland makes hormones that affect many of your body's functions. A pituitary tumor can cause it to release too much or too little of these hormones. This can cause serious problems.
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
    This is a set of symptoms that you may have after a concussion. That's when your head is hit so hard your brain is injured. You can have a concussion even if you don't lose consciousness.
  • Post-Whiplash Headache
    This is a chronic headache. It can develop after a whiplash injury (a violent back-and-forth jerking of the neck).
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri
    This condition, sometimes called a false brain tumor, is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the skull. It most commonly affects obese women ages 20 to 50. The reason it develops is unknown.
  • Right Brain Stroke
    Your brain is divided into left and right halves, called "hemispheres." They specialize in different things. Because of this, a stroke on the right side of your brain can be very different from a stroke on the brain's left side. Let's look at some symptoms of a right brain stroke.
  • Seizure
    This is a sudden burst of electrical activity in your brain. It overwhelms parts of your brain, usually for no more than a few minutes. Most seizures don't cause lasting harm.
  • Spot the Signs of a Stroke (The F-A-S-T Method)
    Fast action during a stroke can be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there are many stroke warning signs. To help you remember the signs and how to respond, just use the word "FAST." That's F-A-S-T.
  • Stroke
    This is a slow down or blockage of the blood that normally flows to part of your brain. When it happens, your brain cells don't get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Within minutes, they begin to die.
  • Stroke Warning Signs
    During a stroke, fast action is key. Getting help quickly can be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there are many warning signs that show you a stroke is happening. So get help immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms.
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH)
    This is bleeding that happens between your brain and the membrane that surrounds it. It leads to stroke and to a dangerous buildup of pressure in your brain.
  • Subdural Hematoma (acute)
    This is a buildup of clotted blood beneath the dura. That's a membrane that covers your brain. The blood can press harmfully against your brain.
  • Temporal Lobe Seizure
    This type of seizure begins in one of the temporal lobes of the brain. It happens because of abnormal electrical activity. Temporal lobe seizures can severely impact your daily life.
  • Tension Headache
    This is a common type of headache that can be painful and frustrating for many people. It tends to start in the back of the head and then move forward to surround your head.
  • Tourette Syndrome (TS)
    This is a disorder of the brain and nervous system. With it, you have an overwhelming urge to make sounds or movements we call "tics." This can be embarrassing. It can cause problems at school and work.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    This is an injury that damages your brain. It results in brain dysfunction. It can severely impact your life.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)
    This chronic condition is caused by a misfiring of the trigeminal nerve. An attack causes brief episodes of extreme, shooting pain.
  • Vertigo
    If you feel like you're spinning for no reason, you have vertigo. This dizziness can be a nuisance, but it's usually not a sign of anything serious. It can interrupt your day. And it can put you at risk for falling.