WHAT CAN DAMAGE THE BRAIN?

If the blood pressure is either too high or too low it will adversely affect the functioning of the brain. Dizzy spells or fainting, for example, may result from too much pressure or lack of blood flow, due to low blood pressure.

Even though this single most important control centre, the brain, is well protected by the cranium, accidents and concussions can do much damage. Just think of the many falls and bumps experienced while skiing or engaging in other types of sports. On such occasions, the head – and thus the brain — often suffers severe blows or concussion without any visible sign of injury. However, if the fall is bad enough to cause a tear in the meninges, the cerebrospinal fluid will leak out and the brain, which had previously been cushioned by this fluid, will now be more like a dead weight, resulting in pressure being exerted on the various brain centres. The person will feel nauseous, the metabolic centre will be affected, and vomiting and possibly diarrhoea will occur. The patient must lie still and rest so that the tear can heal and the brain may once again enjoy the cushioning and protecting effect of the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding it.

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