Brain Disease Can Be Devastating
Disease of the brain can cripple us, make us behave badly, or even destroy our personality and sense of self.
Major nervous system diseases:
Number of cases (in millions) of certain brain diseases in any year. The number of cases of Alzheimer's disease, a disease of old age, can be expected to increase greatly, because the number of older people in the total population is increasing rapidly. The same increase will also occur with stroke and Parkinson's disease, which also increase with age. The numbers for depression is misleading, because most people recover from depression and new ones become depressed. The numbers for trauma include spinal cord trauma, which amounts to about 1/4 of the total trauma cases.
Source: National Institute of Health and Society for NeuroscienceMental and behavioral disorders are found in people
Recent analyses done by World Health Organization show that about 10% of people in the world suffer from a neuropsychiatric condition. This calculates to be about 450 million people! These neuropsychiatric conditions included unipolar depressive disorders, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, alcohol and selected drug use disorders, Alzheimer's and other dementias, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and primary insomnia
What Diseases Do to the Brain
Either kind of change can alter behavior. Example: in people who are too aggressive and violent, the brain often has lower-than-normal levels of serotonin (a transmitter). This also occurs in depression (which may be violence turned inward).
Issue: Bad brains affect behavior. But behavior (and thoughts that control behavior) affect the brain. Can we blame our bad brains for our bad behavior and thoughts? Or is that just an excuse for our failure to make better behavior choices?