Calcium deposits in the brain occur when calcium present in the bloodstream is not absorbed by the body and it gets deposited in the brain instead.
Calcium deposits in the brain (also called cranial calcification), is characterized by small spots of calcium which build up in the brain. These calcium deposits look like white specks and can occur in many places in the brain – the basal ganglia, cerebral cortex, subthalamus or red nucleus.
When the calcium in our blood does not get absorbed by the body, it tends to get deposited elsewhere. The condition is fairly common and the medical significance varies from mild to severe, with respect to the brain’s functioning, i.e. these deposits may cause no serious problem or may lead to chronic health issues.
Causes Of Calcium Deposits In The Brain
- Toxoplasmosis is a serious infection which is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that is found in cat feces. Normally, it does not affect a healthy adult; on the other hand, a pregnant woman can contract toxoplasmosis whilst cleaning a cat’s litter box, and is exceedingly hazardous for the baby, potentially causing impairment to the brain or eyes.
- Meningiomas are another significant cause for the occurrence of calcium deposit in the brain. They are tumors that develop on the meninges lining the brain. Generally, meningiomas are benign; though, uncommonly they can be malignant. Calcification or calcium deposition can occur on these tumor masses.
- Aneurysms also cause calcium deposition in the brain. An aneurysm develops when an artery has a weak segment which triggers enlarging of the blood vessel. An aneurysm which is present in the brain starts to show calcification. Calcifications on the aneurysm will have arches and are known to occur in only 1 percent of the cases.
Signs And Symptoms Of Calcium Deposits In The Brain
Deposits of calcium can occur anywhere in the brain, and are responsible for mild to severe mental disabilities, because of a loss of brain cells. Common symptoms include –
- Spastic paralysis
- Infections of the ear.
- Loss of motor development.
- A progressive decline in the mental capacity.
- Athetosis, twisting movements of the hands and feet.
- Visual trouble – optic atrophy, blurring of the vision.
- Parkinson’s disease which is characterized by – rigidity of the body, tremors, muscle cramping, an impassive face, out of control spasmodic movements, seizures, shuffling gait, and pin rolling movement of the fingers.
How To Get Rid Of Calcium Deposits In The Brain?
It is very vital that you confer with your health care provider / neurologist and understand the exact cause for your problem. Based upon the tests and investigations and once the diagnosis has been established, the treatment regimen will be decided. Your doctor will conduct certain diagnostic tests – overall physical examination as well as neurologic examination to assess the level of the awareness, reflexes, coordination and reaction to pain. CT and MRI scans of the brain help detect the precise location of the calcium deposits.
By and large, the treatment comprises of anticoagulant therapy, surgical excision of the big calcium deposits, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In extreme cases, prompt medical attention is crucial, while in other cases there is no harm to the patient. However, in case you notice any of these symptoms, do not delay and discuss with your doctor to understand your case.