Brain Security at Risk?

The brain is the centre of command for the nervous system. It receives inputs from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles. Most activities of the body including processing, integrating and coordinating information from various body parts are carried out by the brain. Billions of nerve cells
that coordinate movements, emotions, thoughts and behaviors connect parts of the body, enhancing communication between body parts. In spite of these important functions, the brain is very soft – with a gel-like consistency hence, the need for protection. The brain is protected by a 3-fold membrane known as meninges. The meninges consist of the dura mater, arachnoid mater and pia mater. The meninges, though a protective membrane for the whole central nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord, could also be attacked by diseases such as:
·         Meningioma: This is a tumor that grows slowly from the meninges. Overtime, they may compress and squeeze the brain, nerves and blood vessels.
·         Meningitis: This refers to the inflammation of the meninges. Meningitis may be caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria. Fungal meningitis is quite rare and viral infections may go after a while but bacterial infections can be life-threatening so it is important that the cause of inflammation on the meninges be identified early.
Bacterial meningitis occurs when bacteria through an infection or surgery travels through the blood stream to the brain or spinal cord where it infects the meninges. Bacteria strains that cause meningitis include:
Ø  Streptococcus pneumonia
Ø  Neisseria meningitides
Ø  Haemophilus influenza
Ø  Listeria monocytogenes
Factors that could expose someone to meningitis infection include: incomplete/ no vaccinations, communal living, compromised immunity and pregnancy. Untreated meningitis can result in severe complications such as brain damage, seizures, hearing loss, kidney failure and shock which may lead to death. Preventing meningitis is not an impossible task but involves adherence to simple instructions such as:
  •      Keeping hands clean by washing hands regularly. 
  •      Maintaining a good hygiene generally. 
  •          Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing. 
  •       Maintaining a healthy life by eating the right foods, staying hydrated and treating infections completely. 
  •         Cooking foods very well (especially for pregnant women). 
  •         Getting vaccinated.

Photo Credit:
By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

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