Toxic damage of the white matter of the brain

Toxic damage of the white matter of the brain pathology is not inflammatory nature, characterized by structural changes that eventually leads to the inferiority of the brain. Destruction of tissue leads to dysfunction of the body.system

The objective of the white matter of the brain is to provide a strong relationship between different departments and parts of the Central nervous . This allows to coordinate the work of all internal organs and systems.

The defeat of the white matter leads to two main pathological processes. Toxic encephalopathy – acquired disease, degeneration of brain tissue and white matter. Another disease of toxic origin – encephalomyelopathy is a group of diseases of the peripheral nervous system, resulting in disturbed metabolism in the nerves, and in further failing of the pulse.

Causes of toxic brain damage

Brain cells are very sensitive to toxins and toxic agents. They are the first to come under attack poisons that have penetrated into the bloodstream. Toxic substances enter the body when inhaled with air, ingested through the skin. In most cases, the pathology is chronic alcohol intoxication, prolonged use of medications or drugs.

Acute lesions of white matter, which develops fast, sometimes accidents and household or industrial poisoning.

Consider the most common causes of toxic injury of the human brain.

Chronic and acute alcohol intoxication

Alcohol destroys brain cells and leads to their death. Alcoholic encephalopathy is a complex of diseases, which are accompanied by stress, psychoses, neurotic and somatic disorders. In chronic poisoning the first fails, the functions of internal organs, later joined by irreversible neuroses and manic States. In the acute form immediately develop a delirious state, delirium, madness, confusion, aggravated reflexes.

The defeat of the white matter with heavy metals

A distinctive feature of heavy metals is their tendency to accumulate in the tissues of internal organs and lead to chronic poisoning of the brain.

Toxic metals:

  1. Manganese. Poisoning of the organism occur in the systematic inhalation of the substance (production). The substance changes the functionality of brain activity, causes severe mental disorders (hallucinations, irritability, increased motor skills, hypersensitivity).
  2. Lead. Especially dangerous are water-soluble compounds of this chemical element for children, as it causes chronic lesions of the white matter and lead to mental retardation.
  3. Mercury has a toxic effect on the Central nervous system, destroys the brain region responsible for vision.
  4. Arsenic inhibits the activity of the white matter, contributes to the development of brain cancer.
  5. Cadmium is a deadly toxic substance, inhalation of vapors affected the respiratory center in the medulla oblongata.

Chronic exposure to toxic substances

To the defeat of the white matter in drug addiction lead to hard drugs – heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, desomorphine, LSD, cocaine. The danger is that these chemical compounds cause human the abstinence syndrome is dose-dependency and the need for its constant increase. Drug use inevitably leads to the death of neurons (nerve cell) and axons (the process of the nerve cells, the conductor of impulses), changing biochemical reactions in the brain. Effects – psychosis, dementia, manic-depression, nightmares.

Drug encephalopathy

Toxic brain damage can occur with prolonged intake of drugs that are prescribed for patients with nervous and mental disorders.

Group of medications that lead to pathology of the white matter:

  • neuroleptic "Chlorpromazine", "Haloperidol", "Zeldox", "Tisercinum", "Fluanxol";
  • antidepressants – "Moclobemide", "Pirazidol", "Anafranil", "Tolocation", "Cipramil";
  • tranquilizers – "Diazepam", "Lorazepam", "Phenazepam", "Hydroxyzine", "Clobazam";
  • psychostimulants – "Sidnofen", "Mesocarp";
  • normotimiki (remove manic state) – lithium carbonate, "Finlepsin";
  • barbiturates (strong sleeping pills and sedatives), "Phenobarbital", "Butisol", "Gexobarbitala", "Talbutal".

The symptoms of brain diseases

As a rule, lose the white substance of the poisons inevitably leads to dysfunction of the spinal cord. Destructive changes of the Central and peripheral nervous system is toxic encephalomyelopathy. The development of symptoms, their severity depends on what part of the brain has occurred destruction.

Beginning of any toxic poisoning of the white matter occurs equally. Man complains of rapid physical fatigue, absent-mindedness, bad andpoor quality sleep, chronic weakness. There is apathy, indifference to the surrounding world, while trying to contact the person becomes irritable and emotional. Gradually the circle of interests narrows, reduced self-criticism, discipline, responsibility dulled. Always want to sleep not only at night but during the day.

Gradually develop more pronounced signs of encephalopathy:

  • disorders of consciousness, short-term memory loss;
  • headaches, tinnitus, dizziness;
  • lack of initiative, the development of depression;
  • the desire to die, suicidal thoughts.

The toxic destruction of the cells of the white matter are the primary causes of neurological symptoms:

  • violation control facial (paresis, partial paralysis of the muscles), erasing the nasolabial fold;
  • the optic nerve nystagmus is an involuntary oscillatory movement of the eyeballs and the pupil with a very high frequency;
  • anisocoria different sizes of the pupils of the right and left eyes, one pupil is moving normally, the second is in fixed position.

Focal changes in the brain make the symptomatic picture of patients varied. Most fall under the destruction of stem departments. Their signs of form 3 main syndrome.

Cerebellar-vestibular syndrome – instability when walking, intolerance to physical exertion, a constant feeling of "intoxication". Dizziness accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting, unstable blood pressure. Muscle tone is reduced, fingers shaking.

Hypothalamic syndrome of extensive clinic:

  • vegetative-vascular disorders – weakness and lethargy is replaced by excitement, hands and feet are cold, the heartbeat quickens, the skin becomes pale and sticky, a constant feeling of thirst, chills, increased body temperature, blood pressure high;
  • vaginalnyj crisis – of a man burning up with fever, salivation, nausea, slow heartbeat, severe tinnitus, copious urination and diarrhea, feeling short of breath, choking;
  • violation of thermoregulation – the UPS and downs in body temperature from 38° to 40°, which is associated with physical and emotional overload. People afraid of drafts and cold air, feels a sense of coldness;
  • violation of drives and motivations – the weakening of the libido, fears, frequent mood swings, sleeplessness or drowsiness;
  • neurotrophic disorders – itching and skin pigmentation, allergic dermatitis, trophic ulcers, bedsores, softening of bones, ulceration of the mucous membranes of the digestive system;
  • neuroendocrine disorders – bulimia (overeating, obesity), anorexia (starvation), impaired water and electrolyte balance, absorption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Extrapyramidal syndrome is a movement disorder of skeletal muscle that are spontaneous:

  • tremor – rhythmic movement, trembling of the limbs;
  • chorea – involuntary, uncontrolled swinging movement;
  • ballism – scale large amplitude of the hips and shoulders;
  • TIC – an involuntary jerking of different muscle groups;
  • myoclonus – a sudden spasm of skeletal muscles.

Methods of diagnosis of the disease

For the detection of toxic lesions of the brain the patient is administered through the complex of instrumental diagnostic methods.

MRI of the brain and its vessels

Magnetic resonance imaging allows visualization of structural changes in the brain, assess the vascular system and to identify abnormalities in the blood supply. MRI is a highly accurate and most informative method of examination.

On the screen you can clearly see areas of diffuse or focal lesions of the white matter, atrophy of tissues, changes in the subarachnoid space. While MRI can detect even microscopic pathological lesions in the brain.

MTR in the cervical spine

Diagnostics allows to detect tissue damage of the spinal cord. Visually you can determine if there is any malfunction in the communication between the brain and spinal cord, how hard the brain is provided with blood supply. Using MRI to evaluate the state of the spinal cord as a whole.


Rheoencephalography: a method for studying the brain using special device rheograph. On the survey determine the tone of the vessels of the head, blood flow velocity, blood vessels. REG is carried out at a comprehensive evaluation of patients with suspected encephalopathy.

Doppler ultrasound of the brain

The survey is administered to patients with impaired memory, vision, hearing. Method allows you to see structural tissue changes in people with musculoskeletal and mental disorders – panic attacks, inadequate perception of the world, violations of the vocal apparatus. Assess the condition of arteries and veins, outflow of blood from the brain. Pay special attention to the major trunk vessels – the carotid, subclavian and vertebral arteries, jugular vein. Their dynamics determine the level of blood supply to the brain.

X-rays of the cervical spine

The survey is administered to patients with severe and systematic headaches of unknown etiology. When encephalopathy he allows to rule out other pathology – diseases of the spine, skeletal system, malignant andbenign tumors, hernias, cervical radiculitis.

Treatment of diseases of the brain at toxic damage

Approach in the treatment of patients with complex. Course of therapy depends on what was the cause of structural and functional changes in the brain, how heavy is the human condition. Identification of toxic substances is not difficult. It is determined by the biochemical study of blood.

Paramount in the treatment of patients is the removal of toxic substances from the body. If there are antidotes to poisons, they are administered immediately upon admission to the hospital.

To reduce toxicity and to evacuate the toxic antigens, assign detoxication therapy – intravenous infusion of saline solutions:

  • saline of 0.9%;
  • glucose 5%;
  • ringer-Locke;
  • aminal;
  • disol;
  • Trisol;
  • lacteal.

In severe cases, the patient is prescribed, hemodializ – method of cleansing blood outside of the kidney. It is made in the case of severe intoxication, when the kidneys are unable to cope with the load. The method the blood of a patient, pumping of the special instrument is passed through a special device, the device is made on the basis of the membranes of the kidneys. Through the permeable cells is the blood, leaving poisons and toxins, saturated with beneficial trace elements and returns to the blood stream. This filtering allows you to quickly return to the quality of the blood to normal.

If the patient's condition is of average severity, then assign a hemoperfusion or hemosorption is a method of blood purification with the use of sorbents. The blood is passed through an apparatus that contains natural sorbent. Toxic substances are actively absorbed in the organism enters the blood purified.

During treatment it is important to provide the brain with nutrition and oxygen. This cerebral blood flow should be carried out in full. Mandatory medicines, providing the blood flow (angioprotectors) – piracetam, Cavinton, Cinnarizine, Cerebrolysin.

Symptomatic treatment:

  • preparations for the relief of seizures – primidon, beclamide, lamotrigine, phenobarbital;
  • tools to improve metabolism in the brain, piracetam, piriditol;
  • amino acids to supply the brain – allwein, methionine;
  • antiplatelet agents (prevent the bonding of blood cells) – aspirin-cardio, cardiac, silt, pentoxifylline;
  • vitamins b, E, A.

To stimulate the nervous system patients prescribed physiotherapy, acupuncture. To improve the General condition shows a short Hiking, breathing exercises, meditation. With patients who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction, work addiction, psychotherapists and psychiatrists.

Poisoning effects brain

Toxic brain damage does not go unnoticed. Damaged areas of white matter almost beyond repair. Therefore, patients often have residual symptoms, and in severe cases, develop a serious illness.

One of these abnormalities, occurs in people with chronic intoxication of the brain – Parkinson's disease. This is a neurological pathology in which the patient's muscles to provide resistance during passive movements. It's hard to keep balance, he often falls when walking. Movements are difficult, their pace slowed.

Other complications:

  • partial paralysis and paresis of the muscles;
  • decline and memory loss;
  • violation of sleep and wakefulness;
  • emotional and mental instability.

In severe cases, there is an infringement of speech that is no longer restored.

Encephalopathy or toxic damage to white matter – a condition which requires periodic rehabilitation measures throughout the life of the patient.