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Organic Brain Damage
August 2002

Q. My son just had an MRI and CAT scan. The doctor says my son has organic brain damage and that his brain stem is not growing large enough. He will not give me anymore information until the end of July when we see him again. How serious is this? What kind of disease is it, does it have a name?

A. Organic brain syndrome is a general descriptive term meaning damage or impairment of brain tissue. It can result from any process that causes such damage including trauma, infection, drug or toxin exposure, genetic factors, and almost any neurologic or metabolic disease. The term itself is vague as it does not specify the cause or give information as to treatment potential.

If a cause can be identified, then treating the underlying process may protect the brain from further impairment. Examples would include diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism. In general the brain and other neurologic tissue have very slow and limited recovery time. Hopefully the studies you mention will clarify the process as to cause, outlook, and treatment possibilities.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001401.htm

http://www.avera.org/adam/ency/article/001401.htm

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