Brain death occurs when there is a complete loss of both arousal and thought or

Brain death occurs when there is a complete loss of

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Brain death occurs when there is a complete loss of both arousal and thought or when the ability to experience cognition is no longer possible and is generally considered irreversible and there is extensive brain damage that completely prevents cognition. Breathing and Brain Dysfunction The highest level of brain stem function is reflected in the breathing pattern of an individual. Damage to the brain stem will result in a change in the breathing pattern. Motor Response and Brain Dysfunction Although an individual may be legally brain dead, he or she may still experience movement, which can often be confused as purposeful. However, the movement is the effect of reflexive movements and is not associated with higher brain centers. These movements are typically referred to as posturing. Decorticate posturing involves flexion of the upper extremities and extension of the lower extremities. The hallmark of decorticate posturing is reaching toward the core. Decerebrate posturing involves upper- and lower-extremity extension. Seizures Seizures are the result of an alteration in the electrical activity of the brain. The alterations can occur because of systemic issues, for example, electrolyte or acid-base disturbances, hypoglycemia, and hyperthermia. Sometimes, seizures occur because of issues within the CNS itself, such as cerebral hypoxia, tumors, or increased intracranial pressure (ICP). Increased ICP is caused by increased pressure within the cranial vault that increase the risk of the brain
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Page 25 of 2 NSG 6006 Pre-Specialty Evaluation ©2017 South University 25 Advanced Pathophysiology Week 4 Headache and Dizziness Headache Let's now move on to one of the chief neurological complaints: headache. Depending upon the cause of the headache, the presenting signs and symptoms vary greatly. Most headaches can be managed in a primary-care office. However, there are times when a patient with a headache will require hospitalization. Recent studies have classified headaches into two broad categories, namely, primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches include migraine, tension type, and cluster. Secondary headaches include headaches due to subarachnoid hemorrhage, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, carbon monoxide, overuse of medication, acute glaucoma, and psychiatric disorder. Dizziness Just as the sensation of pain is often interpreted in different ways by patients, there is another clinically indistinct term that is frequently used by patients to describe a variety of conditions ranging from lightheadedness and unsteadiness to vertigo. "Dizziness" is a term that is stretched to include disequilibrium and vertigo within its scope. Neurological dizziness does not occur if a person spins around or stands on the head. It includes a light-headed sensation accompanied by headache and reduced consciousness. Blackouts and convulsions are other symptoms of neurological dizziness.
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  • Fall '17
  • South University, Pre-Specialty Evaluation

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