The Symptoms of Congestion Or Hyperaemia Of The Brain

ACTIVE: Wakefulness, or troubled, unrefreshing sleep; bad dreams; confusion of mind, with loss of power of concentration of thought; loss of memory, especially of names; unintentional neglect of most important matters; fullness of the head. headache: sensation of a tight band about the head, with various other strange and peculiar sensations; frequent flushing of the face and throbbing of the arteries of the neck and temples; despondency; morbid fears; peevishness and great restlessness; morbid sensitiveness; dizziness; roaring or other noises in the ears; dread of loud sounds; disturbance of vision by flashes of light, or black spots before the eyes; eyes often red. watery, and sensitive to the light; twitching of the muscles of the face, particularly of the eyelids and corners of the mouth; twitching and cramps in other muscles of the body: in many cases slight difficulty in the pronouncing of certain words or syllables, especially when fatigued; thickness of speech; extremities feel large and awkward; pulse usually slow and full; digestion slow and imperfect; bowels constipated; urine scanty and dark colored.

PASSIVE: Symptoms mostly the same as above, or less marked; drowsiness and unnatural stupor are prominent symptoms.

Hypcraemia of the brain is a much more frequent disease than is generally supposed; in fact, it is probably the most common of all nervous disorders. The failure to recognize this affection in its early stages not infrequently results, from a neglect of proper treatment, in much more serious and frequently incurable disease. There is good reason for believing, also, that this disease in its severer forms is not infrequently mistaken for insanity, patients being confined in lunatic asylums in consequence of temporary mental derangement wholly due to a congestion of the brain, which would readily yield to simple rest, seclusion from exciting causes, and a proper plan of treatment. The symptoms given above are chiefly those which appear in the simpler forms of the disease and in its earlier stages. If the malady is not chocked, much more serious results ultimately occur. Among the principal of these are apoplexy, epilepsy, convulsions and insanity.

The Causes of Congestion Or Hyperaemia Of The Brain

Active congestion is produced by any cause which occasions the flow of a large quantity of blood to the head. Passive congestion is occasioned by all causes which interfere with the return of the venous blood from the brain. Among the principal causes of active congestion may bo mentioned mental overwork, loss of sleep, excessive mental anxiety, and the use of alcoholic liquors, opium, quinine, belladonna, and various other drugs; also certain articles of diet, particularly excessive quantities of animal food, and stimulating condiments, as mustard. spices, pepper, etc. Overeating and eating too fast, by producing disorder of digestion, are frequent causes of active congestion of the brain. Constipation of the bowels is also a frequent cause, not only by exciting a feverish condition of the circulation, but by occasioning severe straining at stool. Exposure to the rays of the sun in hot weather or to excessive heat at any time when fatigued, frequently produces most severe active congestion. Passive congestion is occasioned by any constriction about the neck, as a tight collar or cravat, by the pressure of the large thyroid gland as in goitre, by tight lacing, and by many of the causes already mentioned. Both active and passive congestion are produced by the various forms of heart disease. Both active and passive congestion are frequently met with in cases of long-standing affections of the stomach, liver, lungs, and other internal organs. Uterine disease is a very frequent cause of cerebral congestion in women.