Brain herniation is a deadly side effect of very high intracranial pressure that occurs when a part of the brain is squeezed across structures within the skull. The brain can shift across such structures as the falx cerebri, the tentorium cerebelli, and even through the foramen magnum in the base of the skull (through which the spinal cord connects with the brain). Herniation can be caused by a number of factors that cause a mass effect and increase intracranial pressure (ICP): these include traumatic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhage, or brain tumor.
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Some articles on brain herniation:
... Such conditions include traumatic brain injury, stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, brain tumors, and encephalopathy ... Diseases such as malaria are also known to cause the brain to swell and cause this posturing effect ... Decerebrate and decorticate posturing can indicate that brain herniation is occurring or is about to occur ...
... Brain herniation can cause severe disability or death ... In fact, when herniation is visible on a CT scan, the prognosis for a meaningful recovery of neurological function is poor ... the pressure, or damage to parts of the brain caused by herniation may cause paralysis on the side opposite the lesion ...
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