Venous encephalopathy is a secondary brain disease that occurs against the background of damage to the circulatory system of the body. Due to a violation of the outflow of blood, congestion develops in the brain, edema occurs. This situation leads first to a malfunction, and then to the death of neurons.
As a rule, the pathology is initially asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, which patients take for chronic fatigue. Later, when the condition of the cerebral cortex worsens, the symptoms become more noticeable.
The correct diagnosis can be established only with the help of instrumental examinations of the head and brain. At any stage. But the treatment will be the more effective the sooner it starts.
Symptoms requiring treatment arising from venous encephalopathy of the brain are triggered by a pathology of the circulatory system.
Due to changes in the walls of blood vessels, the speed of blood flow in the veins and sinuses of the skull is disrupted. The pressure builds up, the surrounding tissues are saturated with plasma and swell. Because of what the mass death of nerve cells begins.
Brain damage can be caused by:
- regular increase in blood pressure;
- osteochondrosis of the cervical spine;
- heart diseases;
- atherosclerosis, in which blood vessels are clogged with cholesterol plaques;
- tumors of the brain and neck, constricting the vessels that drain blood from the head.
Most of the conditions on the list lead to chronic venous insufficiency and brain dysfunction. There are also acute situations, such as venous and sinus thrombosis. Then an acute violation of cerebral circulation develops.
One of the dangerous factors is traumatic brain injury, as well as addiction to alcohol. Alcohol promotes the development of autonomic dysfunctions, provoking fluctuations in blood pressure, disrupting the work of the heart and liver.
Symptoms of dystonic venous encephalopathy, especially in the initial stages, are similar to other brain disorders, fatigue. Therefore, it is impossible to make a diagnosis based only on clinical manifestations.
In the beginning, the symptoms are usually not bothersome:
- recurrent headaches;
- dizziness, especially with a sharp change in body position;
- feeling tired.
Characterized by a headache, which is described by patients as heaviness in the head, a lead ball, a feeling of fullness inside the skull. Feelings are dulled by coffee, tea – by drinks with caffeine. Pain increases when bending forward, after naps, when wearing a tie.
If the disease is not identified at this stage and treatment is not started, the symptoms of venous encephalopathy of the brain will progress.
As the brain cells die off, they join:
- decrease in intellectual abilities;
- constant noise in the head;
- decreased visual acuity – flies in front of the eyes;
- violation of motor functions – dizziness, difficulty maintaining balance;
- memory impairment, including episodes of amnesia;
- intense headaches;
- confusion of consciousness.
The state of health worsens during periods of intense physical, psychological stress, after the use of alcohol and drugs.
In acute situations, a picture of venous stroke develops .
In the case of the diagnosis of venous encephalopathy of the brain and the appointment of treatment, the decisive role is played not so much by the symptoms as by the causes of the disease.
The syndrome always develops as a secondary condition (acute or chronic). This means that without establishing the root cause, it will be impossible to stop tissue degradation.
The first stage of diagnostic measures is the collection of anamnesis. The existing signs are identified, the patient’s living conditions are specified. A person is questioned about bad habits, chronic diseases (arterial hypertension, cervical osteochondrosis).
After that, laboratory and hardware studies are carried out to clarify the patient’s condition:
- general and biochemical blood tests for cholesterol, coagulability;
- examination of the veins of the fundus – they are full-blooded, twisted, dilated;
- MRI showing lesions of nerve tissue;
- Ultrasound of the vessels of the brain, revealing the pathology of the veins (damage to the valve apparatus, narrowing of the lumen);
- duplex scanning shows the blood flow rate, compares it with normal;
- rheoencephalography is another technique for examining blood vessels.
Phlebography is informative. The technique allows examining the state of veins, their patency, blood flow velocity by introducing a special substance into the bloodstream, contrasting for MRI or X-ray.
In addition, to establish the characteristics of the disease and clarify the stage, the patient is referred for auxiliary consultations. A psychotherapist, ophthalmologist, cardiologist are involved.
To eliminate the problem and stop the development of pathology, complex therapy is used. The course consists of medications, physiotherapy and lifestyle adjustments.
A systematic approach will help not only suppress symptoms, but also deal with comorbidities. Those that worsen the well-being and condition of the patient.
First, the emphasis is on taking medications:
- myotropic antispasmodics, vasodilatation;
- medicines for atherosclerosis (according to blood tests);
- blood pressure stabilizing drugs;
- angioprotectors, which reduce the permeability of the veins;
- drugs that maintain blood vessels in optimal tone;
- diuretics and other decongestants;
- group of nootropics.
In parallel, a series of physiotherapy procedures is shown:
- massage and physiotherapy exercises;
- acupuncture (acupuncture, acupuncture);
- magnetotherapy – transcranial stimulation.
The course, depending on the stage, lasts from 1 to 4 months. But even after its completion, you will have to take some of the drugs and seriously change your life:
- adjust nutrition, adjusting to a healthy diet for the brain;
- increase the amount of physical activity;
- stop taking alcohol, drugs, smoking;
- normalize sleep patterns.
In critical cases, sometimes doctors resort to surgery. This scenario is relevant in the case of detection of blood clots or advanced atherosclerosis of the main arteries and veins.
Without treatment, from the moment the first symptoms appear, cerebral venous encephalopathy will progress.
Over time, it can trigger the development of stroke, memory loss and paralysis.
Dying brain cells cause the patient to develop progressive dementia.
However, if the therapy was started on time and carried out systematically, then it will be possible to preserve health and mind for many years.