- Dementia Slideshow Pictures
- Take the ADHD Quiz
- Brain Foods Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Brain Lesions - Causes
- Patient Comments: Brain Lesions - Signs and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Brain Lesions - Treatment
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Brain lesions facts
- Brain anatomy
- What are brain lesions?
- What causes brain lesions?
- What are the types of brain lesions?
- What are the signs and symptoms of brain lesions?
- How are brain lesions diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for brain lesions?
- Can brain lesions be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for brain lesions?
How are brain lesions diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a brain lesion begins with the health care practitioner taking a history and asking the patient questions about the symptoms such as:
- When did they start?
- Do they come and go or are they constant?
- ave they progressed over time?
- What makes them better or worse?
Depending upon the circumstances, the patient may not have insight or may not remember the symptoms or complaints, and it may be up to a family member, caregiver, or friend to supply the appropriate information.
Medical history and physical exams
Past medical history of the patient, exploring associated symptoms and complaints may be helpful in determining the diagnosis.
Physical examination is very helpful in trying to localize a potential brain lesion. A careful neurologic exam may be useful in finding weakness, change in sensation (including light touch, pain, vibration, and position sense), and coordination. Mental status, agility, other organ systems are often assessed. For example, patients who have an irregular heart rate called atrial fibrillation are at risk for stroke. Stroke risk may also be increased in patients with carotid stenosis and the health care practitioenr may listen over the neck for a bruit (an abnormal sound made by blood rushing through a narrowed carotid artery).
Imaging and other tests
Depending upon the clinical situation, imaging of the brain such as computerized tomography (CT) andmagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be useful in making the diagnosis of a brain lesion. Angiography can be added to either CT or MRI to visualize the blood vessels in the brain.
Blood tests are usually preformed, to explore any illnesses that can also involve the brain.