About lobar atrophy of the brain

What is lobar atrophy of the brain?

Pick disease is a form of dementia characterized by behavioral changes such as deterioration of social skills and changes in personality. Intellectual impairment, memory loss and language deterioration may also occur. Most cases of Pick disease are sporadic in nature, but a genetic form of the disease is recognized. Although a progressive form of communication impairment (aphasia) may occur as part of Pick disease, people with Pick disease have other behavioral problems besides language and communication impairment.

What are the symptoms for lobar atrophy of the brain?

The symptoms of brain atrophy vary depending on which region or regions of the brain are affected.

  • Dementia is the loss of memory, learning, abstract thinking, and executive functions such as planning and organizing.
  • Seizures are surges of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that cause repetitive movements, convulsions, and sometimes a loss of consciousness.
  • Aphasias involve Trouble speaking and understanding language.

What are the causes for lobar atrophy of the brain?

Injuries, diseases, and infections can damage brain cells and cause atrophy.


  • Stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is interrupted. Without a supply of oxygen-rich blood, neurons in the area die. Functions controlled by those brain areas — including movement and speech — are lost.
  • Traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain that may be caused by a fall, motor vehicle accident, or another hit to the head.

Diseases and disorders

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are conditions in which brain cells become progressively damaged and lose the ability to communicate with one another. It causes a loss of memory and thinking ability severe enough to be life-altering. Alzheimer’s disease, typically beginning after age 60, is the leading cause of dementia. It’s responsible for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.
  • Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder caused by abnormal brain development in the womb. It causes a lack of muscle coordination, difficulty with walking, and other movement disorders.
  • Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition that progressively damages neurons. It usually begins in mid-life. Over time, it affects a person’s mental and physical abilities to include severe depression and chorea (involuntary, dance-like movements throughout the body).
  • Leukodystrophies are a group of rare, inherited disorders that damage the myelin sheath — a protective coating that surrounds nerve cells. Usually beginning in childhood, it can cause problems with memory, movement, behavior, vision, and hearing.
  • Multiple sclerosis, which usually begins in young adulthood and affects women more often than men, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the protective coating around nerve cells. Over time, the nerve cells become damaged. As a result, problems in sensation, movement, and coordination can occur. However, like other diseases noted, it can also lead to dementia and brain atrophy.


  • AIDS is a disease caused by the HIV virus, which attacks the body’s immune system. Although the virus doesn’t directly attack neurons, it does damage the connections between them via proteins and other substances it releases. Toxoplasmosis associated with AIDS can also damage brain neurons.
  • Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain. It’s most often caused by herpes simplex (HSV), but other viruses such as West Nile or Zika can also cause it. The viruses injure neurons and cause symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and paralysis. An autoimmune condition can also cause encephalitis.
  • Neurosyphilis is a disease that damages the brain and its protective covering. It can occur in people with the sexually transmitted disease syphilis who don’t get fully treated.

Some of these conditions — like neurosyphilis, AIDS, and traumatic brain injury — may be preventable. Practicing safe sex by wearing condoms can prevent syphilis and HIV infections. Wearing your seat belt in the car and putting on a helmet when you ride a bicycle or motorcycle can help prevent brain injuries.

Other conditions, like Huntington’s disease, the leukodystrophies, and multiple sclerosis, are not preventable.

What are the treatments for lobar atrophy of the brain?

Each condition that causes brain atrophy is treated differently.

  • Stroke is treated with medications like tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), which dissolves the clot to restore blood flow to the brain. Surgery can also remove a blood clot or fix a damaged blood vessel. Anticlotting and blood pressure-lowering drugs can help prevent another stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injury can also be treated with surgery that prevents additional damage to brain cells.
  • Multiple sclerosis is often treated with disease-modifying drugs like ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), and fingolimod (Gilenya). These drugs help prevent the immune system attacks that damage nerve cells.
  • AIDS and certain forms of encephalitis are treated with antiviral drugs. Steroids and special antibody drugs can treat autoimmune encephalitis.
  • Syphilis is treated with antibiotics that help prevent nerve cell damage and other complications from the disease.

What are the risk factors for lobar atrophy of the brain?

Frontotemporal degeneration is the second most common form of dementia in people under the age of 65 after Alzheimer’s disease. The mean age of onset is usually given as the late 50s, with an age range of 20-80. However, onset before 40 or after 75 is less common. Frontotemporal degeneration is estimated to affect about 50,000-60,000 people in the United States. Researchers believe that many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with another condition. This makes it difficult to determine the true frequency of frontotemporal degeneration in the general population.

Is there a cure/medications for lobar atrophy of the brain?

There is no real treatment or cure for brain damage from Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease, or the leukodystrophies. However, some medications can relieve the symptoms of these conditions but not attack their causes.

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