Q:

What are the effects of lack of oxygen to the brain?

A:

New York University states that the effects of a lack of oxygen to the brain depend on severity but include difficulty paying attention, poor judgement, poor coordination, intense emotions and drowsiness. In more severe cases, the effects include seizures, loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing. If the brain goes without oxygen for more than four minutes, brain cells begin to die, and a further lack of oxygen can lead to death.

According to New York University, many conditions can lead to a lack of oxygen to the brain. Any failure of the respiratory system, whether due to injury, toxins (such as carbon monoxide), drowning or smoke inhalation can reduce the amount of oxygen entering the blood and thus reaching the brain. Disruptions to blood flow, including the blockage or rupture of blood vessels or cardiac arrest can also keep oxygen from reaching to the brain.

New York University states that diagnosis of a lack of oxygen to the brain involves a number of different tests, but the most important factor is medical history. Tests include physical exams and blood analysis. If necessary, imaging scans of the cardiac or respiratory systems also occur. Monitoring of the activity of the heart or brain via electrocardiogram and electroencaphalogram can also be helpful. Treatments must focus on both the immediate lack of oxygen and the underlying conditions.

Sources:

  1. med.nyu.edu

Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What happens when the brain is deprived of oxygen?

    A:

    The New York University Langone Medical Center explains that brain cells begin to die after about four minutes without oxygen. Brain damage caused from a lack of oxygen is called anoxic damage, while hypoxia describes a low-oxygen condition. In other words, someone suffering from a lack of oxygen is said to be hypoxic, but any damage sustained is anoxic damage.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do the occipital lobes do?

    A:

    The occipital lobes, located at the rear of the brain, processes visual information, as shown on the National Institutes of Health website. Although the occipital lobe is responsible for handling the bulk of the visual information coming to the brain, the posterior portions of the parietal and temporal lobes also participate in processing visual images, according to About.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do spinal nerves differ from cranial nerves?

    A:

    Spinal and cranial nerves differ in their development, internal structure and the paths each take to the brain. Spinal nerves travel from their endings through bundles that run to the spinal cord and then into the brain. Cranial nerves emerge directly from the brain to innervate the head and neck.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do psychologists study the brain and the nervous system?

    A:

    Psychologists study the brain and the nervous system because these parts of the body are essential to the way that people behave, think and feel. Psychology is the scientific study of people's behavior and their mind so studying the brain and nervous system is always going to be a crucial element for psychological study.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore