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Death of brain cells


  • Death of cerebral neurons
  • Causes of neuronal death
  • Symptoms of brain cell death
  • Neurophysiological diagnosis
  • How to slow down the death of neurons?

Death of brain cells Scientists have calculated that the human brain consists of 86 billion neurons. In this case, the death of brain cells is also a natural course of events. However, the rapid progression of such a process is seen as a formidable symptom capable of leading to the most severe consequences.

Death of cerebral neurons

For a long time, the opinion was held about the constancy of the nervous system and its inability to reproduce. Relatively recently, researchers came to the conclusion that neurogenesis is inherent in adult mammals and humans. On the other hand, the death of neurons is an integral part of the normal functioning of the brain.

Rapid death of brain cells, the consequences of which can be quite serious, exceeds the admissible rate of neuronal death( 4% of cells in 10 years).The progressive death of cells can lead to serious diseases, which are almost not amenable to drug correction.

Dying of the cerebral cortex, stem cells and subcortical structures is especially dangerous in this respect. The universal mechanisms of neuronal death include:

  • necrosis( inherent in acute cerebral pathology);
  • apoptosis - programmed cell death( characteristic of both acute and chronic pathological processes).

Biochemical reactions of the brain cell death process are reduced to:

  • free radical damage to neuronal membranes;
  • disrupting mitochondrial activity;
  • activation of excitatory neurotransmitters of amino acids.

Causes of death of neurons

Causes of death of brain cells can be different. The main processes that can cause the death of neurons:

  • vascular accidents( heart attack, stroke);
  • of neuroinfections;
  • toxic effects;
  • traumatic lesions;
  • hereditary predisposition.

Important! The death of nerve cells in the brain of an unknown cause is called ideopathic.

Scientists believe that diseases, which are based on the death of brain cells, are an epidemic of the XXI century. Globally, diseases that develop as a result of neuronal death can be:

  • acute( stroke, encephalitis, craniocerebral trauma);
  • chronic( encephalopathy, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases).

However, most often the term "brain death" is used in cases of neurodegenerative diseases. The main representatives of this group are:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • Huntington's chorea;
  • some forms of dementia;
  • certain types of epilepsy;
  • is a supernumerary paresis of the gaze.

Symptoms of death of brain cells

Symptoms of death of brain cells Neurogenital diseases are of long development. Until the time of the first clinical manifestations can take more than 20 years. The patient feels completely healthy, despite the already begun death of brain cells, the symptoms of such diseases appear after reaching the threshold level of dead neurons.

This is due to the colossal compensatory capabilities of the brain. In this case, the manifestations of the disease, as a rule, increase gradually. Symptomocomplex disease directly depends on where the neuronal death is localized, and which area of ​​the brain has ceased to function.

In the defeat of the subcortical nuclei, striatal or pallidar disorders develop:

  • hypermemia;
  • reinforced gesticulation;
  • muscle tone disorder;
  • Parkinsonism.

The death of neurons in the pyramidal pathway gives inhibition of motor functions. The death of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum will ensure the formation of an ataxic syndrome with impaired coordination and dizziness. The defeat of the trunk is manifested by the pathology of the cranial nerves, the disruption of vital functions, paresis, and hypersthesia. Involvement of the cortical neurons forms violations of cognitive and cognitive functions.

Neurophysiological Diagnosis

The main methods for detecting neuronal deaths are various variants of neuroimaging. They allow you to see the structure, functional activity and biochemical characteristics of the brain. In order to identify the death of brain cells, the following:

  • computer tomography of the head;
  • diffuse optical tomography;
  • nuclear magnetic resonance imaging;
  • magnetoencephalography;
  • positron emission tomography;
  • single-photon computed tomography.

How to slow down the death of neurons?

Given the features of the late diagnosis of the death of cerebral structures, the prevention of this process is quite complex. Drug therapy should be aimed at preserving the remaining neurons and maintaining their functional activity.

If the genesis of the process is identified, it is necessary to eliminate the underlying disease that caused the death of nerve cells. Directly to reduce the rate of neuronal death, several classes of drugs are used:

  • antioxidants;
  • neuropeptides;
  • neurometabolites;
  • vasoprotectors;
  • vitamin and mineral complexes.

The direction of using stem cells to prevent the death of neurons is considered promising.

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