Encephalomalacia: Symptom, Treatment

Overview

Encephalomalacia means cerebral softening. It is a type of serious brain damage which can lead to the softening or loss of brain tissue.

Encephalomalacia is a medical term. It may be easier for us to understand if described as blurred cortical margins and decreased consistency of brain tissue.

It can affect any part of the brain, possibly damaging tissues of the frontal, occipital, parietal, and temporal lobe. It occurs in anyone regardless of race, age, and gender, including infants and the embryo during development.

The prognosis for infants with encephalomalacia is usually poor, and they merely have no chances of survival. If they do survive, they may suffer neurological deficits.


Types

There are mainly two types of encephalomalacia: polioencephalomalacia and leukoencephalomalacia.

  • Polioencephalomalacia

It affects the gray matter (the major component of the central nervous system), which is responsible for muscle control, emotions, speech, sensory perception and memory.

  • Leukoencephalomalacia

It affects the white matter, which is responsible for transmitting signals from one end of the cerebrum to another.


Symptoms

Some common symptoms of encephalomalacia include:

  • Permanent or temporary blindness
  • Head pressing
  • Severe headache
  • Severe head spinning
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Extreme drowsiness or episodic drowsiness
  • Lack of mood coordination and wobbliness


Complications

Encephalomalacia is considered extremely serious and will require immediate treatment. Because if left untreated, it can cause various complications like:

  • Functional disability
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death


Causes

Typical causes of encephalomalacia include:

  • Stroke
  • Scar tissue
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Degeneration of the brain
  • Deterioration of the brain
  • Blocked blood supply
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Leptomeningeal cysts
  • Surgery
  • Biological pathogens which release chemical toxins to infect the brain


Diagnosis

Common diagnosis methods of encephalomalacia include:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): It uses strong radio waves and magnetic fields to produce an image of internal structures of the body.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: It is a non-invasive imaging test. A series of x-ray images of the brain at different angles will be taken to visualize soft brain tissue.


Treatments

Brain tissue is non-regenerative. So firstly, you should determine the underlying conditions that can lead to brain tissue changes.

In some severe cases, you may also need to remove the damaged brain tissue, but there exists no guarantee that bodily function would return. Stem cell therapy is another option.


Keyword: encephalomalacia.


Related Post:

Frontal Lobe Encephalomalacia-Symptoms&Treatments

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.