Brain Conditions

Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries occur when sudden trauma, such as a violent blow or jolt to the head, causes brain damage.

The causes of traumatic brain injuries are diverse; some of the common causes include vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, domestic violence, and gunshot wounds.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol hormone. It is also known as hypercortisolism. Chronic use of corticosteroid medications or steroid hormones may increase the cortisol levels in blood and aggravate the condition.

Migraine

A migraine is a type of headache characterized by severe throbbing pain on one side of the head accompanied by secondary symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smell. Other symptoms may include light-headedness and blurry vision. A migraine may be preceded by an aura, a neurological warning sign, which may occur 10 to 15 minutes before an attack. These include flashes of light, tingling sensations, or speech problems.

Transient Ischemic Attack

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, occurs when a blood clot temporarily blocks an artery, usually the carotid artery, supplying the brain. The symptoms produced are similar to a stroke, but last only a few minutes, and cause no permanent brain damage. TIA’s can be considered a warning sign for stroke and provides an opportunity to seek therapeutic or preventive measures.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder characterized by slowness of movement (bradykinesia), tremors and stiffness. These symptoms continue and worsen over time gradually affecting the speech, balance, posture and quality of life.

Pituitary Tumours

Pituitary tumour is an abnormal cellular growth in the pituitary gland located in the brain. Pituitary gland releases hormones that act directly on the body tissues and also regulates the production of hormones from other glands such as thyroid and adrenal gland. Thus, pituitary tumours lead to overproduction of one or more hormones causing conditions such as hyperthyroidism, gigantism, Cushing’s syndrome and abnormal discharge from the nipples of the breasts.

Stroke

The brain requires a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood in order to function properly. A blockage, interruption or severe reduction in the supply of blood to the brain can result in a condition called a stroke. Stroke is a medical emergency that leads to the death of brain cells within minutes of the interruption in blood supply. Prompt treatment is vital to minimize brain damage and improve outcomes.

Tardive Dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological side-effect of the long-term intake of neuroleptics, a class of drugs prescribed for gastrointestinal, neurological and psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The condition is characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements of the face, lips, tongue, trunk, arms and legs. Movements may include tongue protrusion, rapid blinking, puckering and smacking of the lips, and swinging the jaw back and forth.

Todd’s Paralysis

Todd’s paralysis is temporary paralysis following a seizure (abnormal electric brain activity). It usually occurs on one side of the body, and the area of the brain affected by the seizure reflects the part of the body that is affected by paralysis. The paralysis may be partial or complete, lasting from half an hour to 36 hours, after which it resolves on its own. Speech and vision may also be affected in Todd’s paralysis.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries occur when sudden trauma, such as a violent blow or jolt to the head, causes brain damage.

The causes of traumatic brain injuries are diverse; some of the common causes include vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, domestic violence, and gunshot wounds.

Tremor

A tremor is an involuntary muscle movement characterized by shaking of a body part, usually the hands and arms, and difficulty holding and controlling objects. It may also involve other parts of the body such as the vocal cords and head. A slight tremor is normally present in all of us, especially the elderly. It increases when we are angry, fearful, under stress, fatigued, smoke, drink a lot of caffeine or as a response to certain medications.

Pituitary Surgery

The pituitary gland is a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain. It functions by producing hormones that control or regulate various functions of the body such as growth, metabolism, sexual development and reproduction.

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus means water on the brain. It is characterised by the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain inside the skull. Excessive accumulation of fluid within the limited space of skull imparts pressure on the brain and causes damage to the brain tissue.

Headache

A headache is pain or discomfort anywhere in the region of the head or neck. Headaches are the most common health complaints experienced by every person at some point during their life. Most headaches are not serious and can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes.

Dystonia

Dystonia refers to a group of movement disorders characterised by slow repetitive movements or spasms and contractions that are involuntary. These movements can sometimes be painful and can sometimes result in tremors, foot dragging, difficulty speaking.

Brain Tumour

Brain and spinal cord tumours are found in the tissue inside the skull or the bony spinal column which make up the central nervous system (CNS). A tumour is a mass of normal or abnormal cells that form a new growth or is present at birth (congenital).

Brain Damage

Brain damage is an injury which causes destruction of brain cells or tissue. It can occur due to trauma, vascular disease or a tumour. It can affect the ability to think, speak, remember and move.

Skull Base Tumours

The base of the skull is the bony region that separates the brain from lower parts of the face. Tumours growing in this region are called skull base tumours.

Sports-related Head Injury

Head injuries sustained while playing sports can cause damage to the skull and the underlying brain.

  • Westmead Private Hospital
  • FRACS
  • Neuro Surgical Society
  • the University of Sydney