What is a Brain Lesion? - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Instructor: Brekke Peterson Munks
Have you heard of a brain lesion? Do you know what causes them? Should you worry about having one? In this lesson you will learn what a brain lesion is as well as its symptoms and treatment options, then test your knowledge with a quiz.

What is a Brain Lesion?

Has your head ever hurt or your speech become funny? Did you go to the hospital immediately? Did they scan your brain and tell you had a brain lesion? Whether this has happened to you or someone you know, the fact of the matter is that brain lesions are more common than most people realize - they are the result of various diseases, genetic mutations or trauma that cause damage or disfigurement of the brain's tissue. It's generally seen as an injury because it affects cognitive function and can cause brain damage.

Scan showing a brain lesion
Brain Lesion

What Causes Brain Lesions?

Bumping your head, whether it's from a car wreck or bike accident, can cause brain trauma that results in a lesion. People can also be born with lesions due to abnormal growth. If people are around bad chemicals or are genetically predisposed to brain cancer, they can grow brain tumors. This is a type of brain lesion caused by abnormal growth of brain tissue, which can alter brain function.

Brain lesions can also occur due to vascular issues. If there's a bulge in a blood vessel, known as an aneurysm, in the brain and the aneurysm ruptures, bleeding can damage surrounding tissue. Additionally, a blood vessel could also become clogged, hindering blood flow. Such clots can cause damage to the tissue in the brain. Lastly if a person has to undergo brain surgery, lesions can occur due to the trauma caused by incisions.

What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Lesion?

Brain lesions come in all shapes and sizes, and that means they can have very different symptoms. In general, if a person has fallen and hit his or her head or suddenly starts acting abnormally, that person should see a doctor. People with brain lesions could have affected speech, such as slurring or forgetting words, and they might not be able to recognizes faces or differentiate objects from one another. Brain lesions can cause drastic emotional and personality changes, an altered sense of smell, perceived sensations on the wrong side of the body and even difficulty walking or seeing. If a person suffers from a brain lesion, immediate help is necessary to prevent further damage to the brain function.

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