Take an exclusive tour of the MEGA Brain with neurosurgeon Dr. Sonia Eden.
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Travis Stork: What's 12 feet high 18 feet long and things on its feet the world's largest brain complete with an experienced tour guide, who spends most of her days looking at the real thing, please welcome Doctor Sonia Eden, a neurosurgeon from the Borgess Brain & Spine Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And Doctor Eden we just finished chatting with Ricky and audience about meningitis and before we get to some of the more common brain deceases, can you show Ricky as well the rest of our viewers how meningitis affects the brain? Dr. Sonia Eden: Sure I'd be happy to. Meningitis is an infection of the meninges or the covering of the brain. A normal brain has a shell or covering of tissue on it and meningitis is an infection in that area. Travis Stork: So, Dr. Eden can you talk about some of the other areas that affect the brain? Obviously, we hear about tumors all the time. Dr. Sonia Eden: I am actually standing right here by an illustration of a tumor on this brain. This is a brain tumor growing out of my mega brain. A brain tumor is an abnormal massive cells that grows and multiplies uncontrollably within the brain. Brain tumors often grow and cause pressure on the normal brain or they can even grow into the normal brain and cause problems from that. Patients often times present with headaches associated with nausea and vomiting and the headaches are usually worse at night, even awaken them at night and are worse first thing in the morning. So, now I'd like to give you a tour come on inside of the brain. First thing I'd like to show you is a brain tumor here that's growing into the brain. Location is very important. For example, there are certain areas of the brain that control very important functions like our ability to speak and our ability to move our arms and our legs. And if our brain tumor occurs in one of these areas, it's much more likely to cause functional problems in a patient than if it occurs in less risky areas of the brain. I know that sounds kind of weird to say that, but there are areas that are safer areas to develop problems within the brain. Up here, I have what is an aneurysm. An aneurysm is an abnormal ballooning or outpouching of a blood vessel and you can see that here. Here is blood vessel and here is the aneurysm portion that's growing outside of the blood vessel. Aneurysms typically occur in areas where at the blood vessel has been weakened. Travis Stork: And doctor even you hit the nail of the head there, aneurysms are something I worry about in the Emergency Department all of the time. If someone comes in, I always ask is this the worst headache of your life, did it come on suddenly? And I want to show you why we worry about aneurysms. You obviously see a beautiful rotating brain here, so I'm going to show everyone what an aneurysm is? This is an image of a brain, this is a blood vessel, this is the aneurysm right here. It is a ballooning like we talked about. Why is that problematic? Well with this person right here, there are probably no symptoms, but when the brain is about to rupture, I want you to watch this video. This is inside of a brain you're looking at the blood vessel on the brain and it starting to balloon. Watch this area right through here as it weakens. No symptoms, no symptoms thunderclap headache as you start to hemorrhage into your brain and that is one of the things we worry about so much as an ER doctor, because once that happens, sometimes the likelihood of death is one-third of people who die before they even get to the hospital. And Doctor Eden if someone is very lucky, they'll get into the hands of someone like yourself, a neurosurgeon, who can potentially prevent an aneurysm from causing death correct? Dr. Sonia Eden: That is correct Travis. Aneurysm rupture is definitely a neurosurgical emergency. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of patients who have ruptured aneurysm, don't make it to the hospital to obtain medical treatment before they die, but so the urgency is to g