Brain atrophy is a health complication that can be attributed to a variety of diseases, injuries, or general aging. If you are about to undergo a CT scan of the brain, or an MRI study of your head, it is important to become familiar with a few common medical terms that may be used which includes an understanding of generalized brain atrophy.
As we age, there are common deteriorations that occur to the size of our brains. With medical testing, your doctor can determine if you have any signs of general age-related changes to the brain and if so, to what extent those changes have occurred. When changes to the brain’s size and shape occur at a normal rate for your age group, the change may be categorized as generalized brain atrophy. When this diagnosis is given, it simply means the complication is normal and related to no specific health complication.
When atrophy of the brain is identified, the most important concern for you will be how to slow the progression of generalized atrophy. In many cases, when your doctor recognizes this age-related complication has developed, a diet that is healthy for the brain will be recommended along with an exercise program that involves not only physical health but one that also works the cognitive functions of the brain. In doing so, you can typically not reverse brain atrophy but you can slow the progression.
If you’ve had radiation therapy, there is a possibility that your brain atrophy may be related to whole brain radiation side effects. In many cases, this type of atrophy may look like generalized brain atrophy and should be discussed with your doctor further. Again, by eliminating this treatment from your health in the future, and by choosing a healthy diet and good exercise and fitness program, you will find that you can work through these complications but never reverse atrophy in the entirety.
Brain atrophy is a common part of our age-related health complications but can also be related to disease and injury. If you suffer from atrophy of any type, be sure the condition is generalized atrophy as this is the type that can be slowed most easily and is the least likely to cause dementia or other health complications.
Sources: Brain Imaging, by Laurie Loevner