Cerebral atrophy in children

Are you aware that some newborns may have brain atrophy? Learn about brain atrophy in children and the most important details about brain atrophy.

Cerebral atrophy in children

Cerebral atrophy is one of the diseases that lead to a defect in brain function and a common feature of a number of diseases that affect the brain. Continue reading to learn more about childhood brain atrophy.

What is meant by brain atrophy in children?

Brain atrophy is the loss of brain cells or the reduction in the number of connections between brain cells, which causes a shrinkage of brain tissue. It can affect a child from birth or develop over time, and it can result in dysfunction or weakness in a single area. Brain atrophy affects people of all ages.

As a result of this kind of brain damage, cerebral atrophy in children typically results in impaired cognitive performance. Depending on the degree of brain damage, there are two different types of cerebral atrophy in children. The types of cerebral atrophy are as follows:

1. Focal cerebral atrophy 

This type of brain atrophy is localized, i.e. in a specific part of the brain only, so that it affects a limited area of ​​the brain and leads to a decrease in the functions that are controlled by that area of ​​the brain. For instance, if a child has frontal lobe atrophy, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • cognitive problems
  • lack of movement control
  • Difficulty initiating voluntary movements.
  • planning and emotion regulation issues.
  • Poor critical thinking.

2. Generalized cerebral atrophy

All areas of the brain are affected by atrophy, and a child with generalised cerebral atrophy may experience the following:

1. Seizures 

It is a sudden, abnormal increase in brain electrical activity that impacts the entire brain. The following are seizure signs that a child might experience:

  • behavioral changes
  • Vibrating eye movements .
  • a metallic or bitter aftertaste
  • salivating or making a mouthful of foam.
  • grinding of teeth
  • snoring
  • muscle spasms
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Loss of ability to speak.

2. Aphasia

Aphasia is a group of disorders that affect speech and language comprehension. The child has trouble understanding what is being said, making word choices that stand out using incomplete phrases, and putting complete sentences together.

Causes of cerebral atrophy in children

Brain atrophy occurs in children as a result of some diseases and health conditions. The following provides descriptions of these cases:

1. Vitamin B12 deficiency

Because vitamin B12 is crucial for the growth of brain cells in the foetus or newborn, it may result in vitamin B12 deficiency in infants who rely on breastfeeding from mothers or pregnancy suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. This deficiency causes a delay in neurological development and brain atrophy.

2. Prolonged anesthesia

It was discovered that children who underwent surgery while under prolonged anaesthesia had a higher risk of developing brain malformations and showed symptoms of brain atrophy.

3. Chemotherapy

that children who receive chemotherapy treatments over an extended period of time may experience brain atrophy, or a shrinkage of the brain, as a side effect.

4. Dilantin

As Dilantin is connected to the emergence of cerebellar atrophy, which is focal atrophy, it is one of the anticonvulsant medications used in childhood for a variety of illnesses, including: seizures, anxiety and depression, eating disorders, restless leg syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette's syndrome.

5. Other medical conditions

The following medical conditions can result in cerebral atrophy in children:

  • Strokes.
  • Cerebral Palsy.
  • AIDS.
  • Cushing's Syndrome.
  • Brain inflammation.

Diagnosis of cerebral atrophy in children

A doctor can identify cerebral atrophy by gathering the patient's full medical history and inquiring about their symptoms. Inquiries about when the symptoms started and whether a specific incident caused them may fall under this category. The doctor may also perform language, memory, or other specific tests of function. the brain.

Early diagnosis of cerebral atrophy in children is crucial in preventing the development of cerebral atrophy, so if the doctor suspects that the child has the condition, he determines the location of the brain damage and evaluates its severity using an MRI or computed tomography test.

Treatment of cerebral atrophy in children

The methods for treating brain atrophy vary depending on the causes of the atrophy, with some treatments concentrating on reducing the causes and symptoms to prevent brain atrophy from developing in children. These treatment methods include:

1. Brain rehabilitation 

One of the sessions involves the child receiving physical therapy, speech therapy, and counselling that aid in his recovery of brain function or teach him coping mechanisms.

2. Medicines

Antibiotics for bacterial infections, antivirals for viral infections, and medications for the prevention of strokes like blood thinners, blood pressure-lowering medications, and cholesterol-lowering medications may all be prescribed by the doctor.

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