One I thought worth reporting is the below one. This is a risk in mid to early-late and late stage of HD from falls and people should be aware of the symptoms as sometimes they can sometimes be confused with "normal" HD related symptoms where there is cognitive problems.
HD causes an atrophying of certain areas the brain which, in affect, shrinks the size of the brain causing more room inside of the skull. A fall or blow to the head could then cause the brain to hit the sides of the skull causing a subdural hematoma. This is similar to "shaken baby syndrome".
Every HD caregiver should be aware of the potential for this when a person with HD is experiencing a lot of falling and know the symptoms to watch out for to get immediate attention.
Acute (subacute) subdural hematoma
subdural hematoma - acute/subacute
A brain disorder involving a collection of blood in the space between the inner and the outer membranes covering the brain, where symptoms usually develop within a short time after a head injury.
Risks include head injury, very young or old age, chronic use of aspirin, chronic use of anticoagulant medication (blood thinners), and alcoholism or chronic alcohol use.
Other important risk factors include any disorder that may result in a risk of falling, particularly disorders where confusion and cognitive impairment are already present and may mask symptoms of acute/subacute subdural hematoma.
Subdural hematoma occurs in people of all ages. Acute/subacute subdural hematoma is less common, but more often fatal, than chronic subdural hematoma. Chronic subdural hematoma occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 people.
Symptoms & Treatment:
A head CT scan confirms the diagnosis of subdural hematoma and will pinpoint the exact location of the hematoma.
This disease may also alter the results of a cranial MRI.
This may be of some help understanding damage that can be sustained from falls. We've talked about the threat of subdural hemorrhage before and I've added a description of that below. In the advanced stage HD there is a need to watch for this since the HD causes shrinkage of the brain, leaving more space in the skull for hemorraging to occur from falls or trauma to the head.
More Than Just A Bump On The Head Item 212
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About Concussions: Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI
This resourceful guide can do most of the work for you by helping patients diagnose and/or cope with the ''unseen'' injury of mild TBI. It helps patients, as well as family and friends, understand the problems that can result from mild TBI and gives tips on how to deal with them.
The "unseen" injury
What happens when you have a mild TBI
Signs of mild TBI
vascular and tension headaches
loss of problem solving skills
trouble paying attention
loss of memory
inner ear problems
Tips for healing
How it affects family
Tips for family and friends
In a subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, blood slowly accumulates in the space between the dura sheath and the underlying subarachnoid membrane, the two outermost layers of the meninges (the membranes covering the brain). The blood vessels that rupture are usually veins on the underside of the dura mater.
A head injury --either from something as traumatic as an automobile
accident or, in seniors, as apparently benign as bumping your head--can cause these veins to tear and form a blood clot, squeezing against the brain. The pressure placed on the brain by this mass, known as a hematoma, can cause the brain to shift and produces a spectrum of mental disturbances and neural defects.
Subdural hemorrhage or hematoma is seen most often in seniors who have sustained a fall and struck their head. Symptoms may emerge weeks to many months after the original trauma. The person may not remember the head injury, especially if alcohol was involved.
The degree of severity is associated with the amount of time elapsed between the initial development of symptoms and loss of consciousness. If the interval is less than 48 hours, the injury is considered acute. If it is between 48 hours and 2 weeks, it is subacute. If the interval is longer than 2 weeks, it is considered chronic.
Acute subdural hematoma often is fatal, despite prompt medical attention
and surgical intervention. Subacute and chronic forms are not as dangerous but require medical attention when symptoms develop. Brain damage can result if untreated.
Aspirin and other types of anticoagulants increase the risk of bleeding in
or around the brain.
Loss of consciousness with weakness or paralysis after a head injury
Numbness on one side of the body
What your doctor looks for
Weakness; decrease in level of consciousness; changes in the fundus (the
back of the interior of the eye) noted on retinal inspection; areas of
pooled blood identified by CT scan; abnormal blood clotting tests; use of
Diuretic medications control brain swelling caused by sudden accumulations of fluid. Surgery may be necessary to locate and control bleeding, as well as to remove any accumulation of blood or clotted blood. If neurologic symptoms dictate, anticonvulsant drugs may be prescribed after surgery to control or prevent seizures that otherwise might develop. Such medications might have to be taken long-term because seizures may develop even 2 years following the injury.
When to call your doctor
Any head injury that causes loss of consciousness should be investigated
by a doctor.
Dr. Koop Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
Brain pain: Recognizing a subdural hematoma - MayoClinic....
If a subdural hematoma goes unrecognized and untreated, it can be fatal. But if detected early, most can be treated with good results. Learn the warning signs
eMedicine Journal, January 16 2001, Volume 2, Number 1
eMedicine - Subdural Hematoma : Article by Grant P Sinson...
Subdural Hematoma - A subdural hematoma SDH is classified by the amount of time that has elapsed from the inciting event, if known, to the diagnosis.