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Brain and Nerves

Are you suffering from nagging headaches and vertigo? Are you troubled at forgetting little things every now and then? You might be having Colloid Cysts. Read on to know all about Colloid Cysts – their causes, symptoms, treatment and prognosis.

What is a Colloid Cyst?

Colloid Cysts are sacs or vesicles located within the brain. In all cases of Colloid Cyst third ventricle, a fluid-filled space in the middle area of the brain is seen as the location. Colloid Cysts consist of a connective tissue layer that is covered with cells. It contains gelatinous material that looks like colloids.

Colloid cysts are oval or round in shape. They vary in size. The sacs can be anywhere between a few millimeters to a few centimeters in diameter.

Unlike tumors, Colloid Cysts do not show a tendency to grow continually in size. The cysts do not even spread to other regions of the body. Colloid Cysts are generally non-lethal in nature. In very rare cases, however, they can cause sudden death. This is why Colloid Cysts need proper treatment by an experienced physician.

Colloid cysts are a rare condition. They form less than 1 percent of brain tumors. The condition is generally found in adult persons who are above 40 years in age.

Colloid Cyst Symptoms

Colloid Cysts is characterized by a number of symptoms. Some of the major ones are

Headaches

Many people with Colloid Cysts normally suffer from persistent headaches. It is not clear if cysts are the cause of these headaches. This happens due to increasing pressure buildup inside the cranium. Colloid Cyst headaches can cause a lot of pain.

Nausea

Sufferers of this condition often complaint of a nauseating feeling.

Vertigo

The patients also commonly experience a reeling sensation while moving about.

Drowsiness

Patients of Colloid Cysts suffer from a sense of sleepiness and increased fatigue.

Forgetfulness

The person may also suffer from a deficit in memory which might make him or her forget simple day-to-day activities.

Visual Impairment

Sufferers can see one object as two different things. This causes many problems in vision. Such patients should not be allowed to venture alone in busy thoroughfares.

Behavioral Abnormalities

A change in behavior is also noticed in affected ones.

Personality Alterations

People with Colloid sacs in the brain also suffer from changes in personality.


The nerves are responsible for transmitting electrical impulses to the brain and vice versa. So an injury or damage caused to the nerves due to the exertion of some kind of pressure or compression leads to a disruption of the impulse responsible for transmitting information along specific nerve pathways. The nerve’s fail to provide and receive signals to and from the brain to other parts of the body and vice versa. The pressure may be exerted on the nerve by the surrounding tissues such as bones, muscles or cartilage. This problem may be witnessed at several sites of the body such as the shoulders, the upper and lower back, the arms and the legs. It is characterized by pain, numbness, tingling or weakness and can be caused by a number of reasons related to bone and nerve injury. Pinched nerve in upper or lower back may either be chronic or acute depending on the underlying cause.

pinched nerve in back
Picture 1 – Pinched Nerve in Back
Source – www.pinchednerveinback.org

Pinched Nerve in Back Symptoms

The symptoms of a pinched nerve in back are determined by the specific kind of nerve affected since different kinds of nerves are assigned different tasks to perform. Some of the most common signs of pinched nerve in back include a feeling of numbness or absence of sensation in the region affected, pinched nerve back pain which may be sharp in nature, and tingling. One may also suffer from paresthesia, which is a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, a burning sensation and pain, twitching and muscle weakness, and a frequent ‘falling asleep’ of the limbs. In cases when a nerve that is directly related to the spinal cord is affected, one may also suffer from coughing and sneezing, which aggravates the pain associated with a pinched nerve. Muscle spasms are a common occurrence in case of the same. Pinched nerve in back of knee is characterized by pain in the joints. Pinched nerve in lower and upper back symptoms also includes stiffness of the muscles down the legs. All these symptoms intensify while sleeping at night. These symptoms serve as an answer to those who pose the question what does a pinched nerve in your back feel like.


Akathisia Definition

The Czech Neuropsychiatrist, Ladislav Haskovec was the one who had coined the term, ‘Akathisia’ for a sensory syndrome that is characterized by a constant restless feeling that does not allow one to be motionless or still. The term has been derived from a Greek word ‘kathizein’, meaning ‘to sit’ which comes along with an attached negative prefix to connote absence, thus implying ‘an inability to sit’.

Also known as Acasthisia, it is caused due to an increase in the neurotransmitter norepinephrine level that leads to increased levels of anxiety, aggression, arousal and alertness. It may also be associated with the disruption of NMDA receptors that are the predominant molecular device that controls the capacity to memorize and also handles the synaptic plasticity functions of norepinephrine. It can vary in its intensity from mild to severe depending on the cause and extent of the disorder. It is may exhibit symptoms akin to restless leg syndrome or fibromyalgia. Akathisia may be of a few types such as neuroleptic-induced akathisia, late-persisting or tardive akathisia and akathisia tardive dyskinesia.

Akathisia Symptoms

One may understand as to whether one suffers from acute akathisia or chronic akathisia, by the nature of symptoms that one exhibits. In any case, the symptoms of akathisia include an increasing discomfort, fatigue, muscle stiffness, hypertension, neuropathic pain, irresistible urge to move, and rhythmic leg movements at night, a condition known as periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). One may also suffer from pacing in the knees, insomnia, nausea, and labile effect like weeping, poor concentration or attention, impatience and dysphoria which in case of acute akathisia may even force one to commit suicides. It is important to note that the symptoms of akathisia may worsen when one is suffers from emotional upheavals or stress related problems.

Akathisia Causes

The most basic cause behind the occurrence of akathisia may be attributed to the side-effects of antipsychotic drugs. The causes of akathisia may also include calcium channel blockers, buspirones, metoclopramides, and dopamine agents. A mention may be made of some of the causes of akathisia:-

Neuroleptic Antipsychotic Drugs

They include antiemetics like promethazine, metoclopramide; phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, perphenazine; butyrophenones like haloperidol (Haldol); thioxanthenes like zuclopenthixol, flupenthixol; piperazines like ziprasidone; and others namely, pimozide, asenapine (Saphris), droperidol, amisulpride, aripprazole (Abilify), trifluperazine and risperidone. Among these, zuclopenthixol (Cisordinol) and chlorpromazines such as Largactil are less sedating in nature. They possess antihistaminergic and anticholinergic qualities which aid to fight against akathisia.

akath3

Picture 1 – Antipsychopathic Drugs
Source – www.societyforhumanisticpsychology.blogspot.com

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRIs)

They are a class of compounds typically used as anti-depressants which may by virtue of their side-effects cause SSRI Akathisia. SSRIs like paroxetine (Paxil), Zoloft, Xanax and fluoxetine (Prozac) are the main cause behind the suicidal tendencies that occur in case of Prozac akathisia. Zofron akathisia is also a product of this case.

Other Antidepressants

Beyond anti-psychopathic drugs and SSRIs, Antidepressants like tricycles, venlafaxine (Effexor) and venlafaxine may also trigger symptoms of akathisia. Moreover, trazodone akathisia may also be caused when one uses trazodone by the name of Desyrel.

Antiemetic Drugs

Dopamine blockers like prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine and metoclopramide (Reglan) are responsible for causing Reglan akathisia.

Antihistamines

Diphenhydramines and other cyproheptadines are some of the most potent antihistamines that cause akathisia.

Withdrawal from Physical Addictions

Withdrawal from different kinds of physical addictives such as barbiturates, cocaine, opioid, alcohol, benzodiazepine, and cannabis may cause withdrawal akathisia.

Amphetamines and Stimulants

Amphetamines under the brand names Vyvanse, Adderall, ProCentra, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, Dextrostat and Desoxyn and other stimulants such as tea or coffee may perpetuate the condition related to akathisia.

Chondromalacia Patellae (CMP)

This is a condition that causes pain at the front of the knees and usually affects young boys and girls who are into athletics and sports. It causes pain and discomfort when knees are bent. It is one of the basic reasons behind akathisia.

Serotonin Syndrome

This syndrome is related to excess serotonergic activity at CNS and also the PNS. It is basically caused by adverse drug reaction and may lead to cognitive, somatic and autonomic effects including akathisia.

Parkinson’s Disease

Akathisia may also caused by a brain disorder that has shows symptoms such as movement or locomotion disorders, difficulty in coordination, dementia, anxiety and body tremors. Parkinson’s disease may be blamed for causing chronic akathisia and the associated neurological disorders that may be triggered by the same. Sinemet, prescribed for dealing with Parkinson’s may also trigger akathisia.

Iron Deficiency

Deficiency of iron in the body may also cause akathisia and other related syndromes such as restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.

Along with the aforementioned, akathisia may also be caused by dysphoria, hyperkinesis, and other syndromes or disorders related to kidney and neuropathic problems.

Akathisia Diagnosis

Since the symptoms of akathisia are quite similar to many a related diseases and syndromes such as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Fibromyalgia, Nocturnal Myoclonus, etc. There is a high possibility for a misdiagnosis of akathisia in case of antipsychotic neuroleptic-induced akathisia. So a proper and differential diagnosis is important for detecting the cause of akathisia. However, one can detect the presence and the severity of akathisia with the help of Barnes Akathisia Scale, which is also called akathisia rating scale. Blood tests such as Serum ferritin and CBC may also be prescribed for detecting the possibility of iron deficiency in blood.

Akathisia Treatment

The basic objective behind the treatment of akathisia is to prevent the proliferation of its effects and to control the same. However, one has several optional ways of dealing with akathisia. These methods include either reducing the dose of the causative medication or even withdrawing from the medication or administering other drugs. The drugs that are normally prescribed are propranolol, clonazepam, benzodiazepines, benzatropine, cryproheptadine, Benadryl and trihexyphenidyl. Propranolol akathisia may be caused due to the administration of propranolol along with beta-blockers like metopropol. However, excessive use of Benadryl may be harmful for one’s health. N-acetyl cysteine has recently been tested positive for akathisia.

However, those suffering from neuroleptic-induced akathisia must have food rich in vitamin B6 as it helps in reducing the harmful repercussions of the disorder. Akathisia management also includes physical exercises to relax the muscles and reduce stress.

However, akathisia can be fatal if kept unchecked because it may perpetuate to cause paralysis or other nerve disorders. Moreover, the prognosis of the disorder is quite high. So an early diagnosis and treatment of the disorder is necessary to thwart the perilous effects that may even cripple one’s life permanently.

References

Wikipedia

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.wrongdiagnosis.com

www.health-care-clinic.com


Are you lately suffering from numbness or a burning sensation in your neck? You are probably suffering from a pinched nerve in neck. Read and know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of pinched nerve in neck.

What Is Pinched Nerve In Neck?

The term “Pinched Nerve” refers to a nerve damaged or injured due to stretching, constriction or compression. A pinched nerve in neck refers to such an injured nerve in the neck region.

Symptoms Of Pinched Nerve In Neck

Know about some of the main pinched nerve in neck symptoms.

Numbness

People with a pinched neck nerve typically complain of numbness in the affected neck area. Sufferers feel as if a part of their neck is “sleeping”.

Pain

Most sufferers experience pain radiating from the neck down to the buttocks and legs. However, there is no actual pain in any region of the neck. The pain in this case is known as “Referred Pain”.

Pricking Sensation

Though pinched nerve generally gives rise to numbness, many victims complain of a tingling or pricking sensation in the affected region.

Muscular Spasm

In some cases, patients complain of a muscular spasm in the adjoining areas of the nerve.

Headaches

Affected individuals also suffer from pain in the temple or the back (occipital region) of the head. In occipital headaches, pain may be felt at the region of head located just behind the eyes.

Inflammation

A pinched neck nerve often gives rise to swelling in the affected area of the neck. The inflammation is externally visible in many cases.

Cervicobrachial Syndrome

In a few cases, pinched nerve in neck gives rise to Cervicobrachial Syndrome, a condition that affects one or both arms. The pain radiating in the upper limbs may be either dull or acute in nature.


What is Dandy Walker Syndrome?

Dandy Walker Syndrome refers to a congenital brain malformation that involves the cerebellum and the spaces in and around the same that it filled with the cerebrospinal fluid. It derives its name from Walter Dandy and Arthur Earl Walker, who are considered the founding fathers of Neurosurgery. The disorder is characterized by an enlargement of the fourth ventricle, the complete or partial absence of the cerebellar vermis, i.e., the area of the brain in between the two hemispheres, and the formation of a cyst in the internal base area of the skull. Due to this it is also known as Dandy Walker Cyst Syndrome. Along with these features, it may also be distinguished by an increase in the pressure of blood flow to the brain and the shrinking of the spaces for fluid retention or even the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid. This condition is known Hydrocephalus and when it causes dandy Walker Syndrome, the syndrome comes to be known as Dandy Walker Syndrome Hydrocephalus.

Also known as Dandy Walker Malformation Syndrome or Dandy Walker Complex, the genetically sporadic disorder may be responsible for abnormalities associated with the Central Nervous System (CNS). The Dandy Walker Syndrome is quite prevalent especially among the fairer sex all over the world.

Types of Dandy Walker Syndrome

There are basically three types of dandy walker syndrome which represent different kinds of brain and CNS abnormalities. They may be classified as Dandy Walker Malformation Syndrome, Dandy Walker Cisterna Magna Syndrome, and Dandy Walker Variant Syndrome.

The former is the most severe kind of dandy walker syndrome wherein the posterior cranial fossa containing the brainstem and the cerebellum, is enlarged. Along with this, the cerebellar tentorium separating the cerebellum from the occipital lobes gets lifted. Moreover, in this case the cerebellar vermis, which is the posterior midline area between the two hemispheres is either partially present or completely absent in merely a rudimentary form. It is basically caused by the dysplasias of the brainstem nuclei. One can also detect cyst formation in the fourth ventricle which in fact fills the posterior fossa. Hydrocephalus may occur in this case which entails the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain ventricles and cavities. This may result in increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and other related abnormalities. Genetic disorders such as Spina bifida or Myelomeningocele, which is a congenital spinal disorder, may also lead to Dandy Walker Syndrome.

The other type of Dandy Walker Syndrome is Mega cistern magna, in which case the openings in the meninges, known as cerebellomedullary cisterns are enlarged along with posterior fossa. In this case, the cerebrospinal fluid gets accumulated in the cistern magna of the posterior fossa.

The third type of dandy walker syndrome is the variant. It is a mild disorder characterized by a mild enlargement of the posterior fossa and the fourth ventricle. The cerebellar vermis is underdeveloped and one may exhibit either Hydrocephalus or supratentorial CNS problems. Unlike in the first type of Dandy walker Syndrome, wherein torcular-lamboid inversion occurs, one may not experience the same in case of the variant type.

Dandy Walker Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of dandy walker syndrome may either develop slowly without getting noticed or may appear dramatically.

One who suffers from slow motor development, progressive skull enlargement, also known as progressive macro crania, and bulging anterior fontanelle in infancy may be considered to suffer from Dandy Walker Syndrome. Children with the same are noticed to suffer from vomiting, hyperirritability and convulsions due to enhanced intracranial pressure. Both children and adults suffer from cerebellar dysfunction disorders such as ataxia or poor coordination of the muscles, unsteadiness, eye, face and limb jerks, protrusion of the skull from the back, increase of the head size and its circumference, and abnormality in the pattern of breathing, also known as Bradypnea. Children specifically suffer from hyperactivity, nocturnal enuresis, stereotypical movements and other conduct disorders, which are the signs of dandy walker syndrome.

Along with the aforementioned, there may be various other symptoms of dandy walker syndrome such as congestion of the scalp veins, the swelling of the optic disk and reduced width of the occipital squama, and the separation of the cranial sutures.

However, the disease may exhibit more symptoms when associated with other disorders or diseases related to the CNS or the brain.