Brain atrophy is a wasting away of brain cells, or more accurately, the loss of brain neurons and the connections between them that are essential for functioning properly. This can result in communication difficulties, loss of muscle strength, seizures, and even more advanced problems such as dementia.
There are a number of factors that can lead to brain atrophy, both early and late in life. Some of these potential causes are avoidable, while others aren’t – but that doesn’t mean your cognitive abilities will be impacted. Here are seven underlying causes of brain atrophy, also known as cerebral atrophy…
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Livestrong.com notes that significant injuries to the head (and brain) can lead to brain atrophy. A traumatic brain injury can cause complications similar to a stroke by blocking blood flow to key areas of your brain, while also potentially causing direct brain tissue damage, notes Livestrong.com.
Some examples of a traumatic brain injury can include a direct blow to the head or an object actually penetrating the skull, or something that causes your head to jolt violently (such as being hit in a sporting event or a vehicle accident).