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Brain Lesions (Lesions on the Brain) (cont.)

Brain Lesions Prevention

In some instances, certain brain lesions can be prevented, though not all types can be completely prevented. For some brain lesion types, reducing various risk factors can lessen the chances the brain lesions will develop; however if they do, there are sometimes ways to slow the progression of symptoms. Each type of brain lesion varies somewhat in its prevention. The following list, though not entirely comprehensive, provides readers with the various types of brain lesions, and recognized preventive measures.

  • Traumatic: Avoid risky behaviors, wear protective equipment (bicycle or motorcycle helmets) and use seatbelts in automobiles
  • Infectious: Avoid any contact with infected individuals, especially those diagnosed with meningitis. Some people may need to take antibiotics to prevent the disease if exposed.
  • Malignant (cancerous): Stop tobacco smoking and avoid places where you are exposed to smoke, avoid environmental or work-related chemicals associated with cancer, wear protective clothing and masks when appropriate, undergo routine checkups and tests (for example, prostate,testicle and breast exams, Pap smear,mammograms, colonoscopy, etc.) to detect any cancers early when they are more easily treated.
  • Benign (non-cancerous): Although no good prevention methods are known (other than those possibly for cancer), early diagnosis and treatment may prevent more serious complications if the benign tumor is removed while relatively small in size.
  • Vascular: Arteriovenous malformations, if found before a significant bleed into the brain occurs, can be clipped (surgically neutralized) before they cause serious brain damage. Strokes may be reduced or prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle (for example, healthy diet, exercising, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight), and keeping your blood pressure andcholesterol low. If a person has diabetes, proper glucose level control can help prevent many cardiovascular diseases. Individuals with with high blood pressure and other medical problems should take their medications as prescribed by their physician. People with a history of strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA's or mini-strokes) are advised in most situations to take an 81 mgaspirin (a baby aspirin) once a day to help prevent subsequent strokes and cardiac problems.
  • Genetic: Other than not being part of a certain gene pool (which people have no control over), the only way to help prevent or slow these conditions is to avoid any situations or chemicals that may trigger the genomic expression or accelerate the genetic process. Unfortunately, most of these compounds are only suspected or associated with brain lesion development.
  • Immune: Generally speaking, there is no current effective way to completely prevent immune mediated brain lesions, however, medications may help to prevent or halt relapses, as well as slow the overall progression of the disease.
  • Plaques (deposits of substances in brain tissue): Alzheimer's disease is the major disease in this type of brain lesion category. Age and genetics likely play a role in its development, but these factors are not controlled by an individual. However, most investigators suggest that a healthy diet, routineexercise, and intellectual and social stimulation are all likely to slow the advancement of this disease. Additionally, there are medications that may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse, though the disease will not be halted altogether.
  • Brain cell death or malfunction: Since the causes of these brain lesions are unknown, there is no effective treatment to stop the advancement of these lesions. The classic example of a such a disease is Parkinson's disease. Like Alzheimer's disease, age, and possibly genetics, may play a role in its development and most investigators suggest that a healthy diet, routine exercise, and intellectual and social stimulation are all likely to slow the advancement of this disease. Fortunately, some knowledge about the neuropathology of Parkinson's disease (the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells) has led to the development of medications that in some patients, markedly reduce symptoms for some time. However, as in Alzheimer's disease, the disease is progressive.
  • Ionizing radiation: Radiation exposure may be prevented by taking appropriate precautions, especially barrier shielding for those working around sources of ionizing radiation (X-ray technicians, radiologists, researchers, workers in the nuclear power industry, and others) in order to prevent ions from disrupting or killing brain cells (and other cell types). In addition, though ionizing radiation is used by physicians to shrink and kill tumors and cancer cells, in some instances, normal brain tissue and other types of cells may be damaged or killed. Precise and careful targeting to avoid major damage to normal tissue can help mitigate this problem.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2014
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