Chemical imbalances in the brain may stem from a variety of causes including a brain tumor, the death of important brain cells, an anxiety disorder, medication or drug abuse, or it may even be congenital. A chemical imbalance may cause minor or major personality and mood changes, as well as mental illness. When brain chemistry is altered, a person experiences a wide range of distressing symptoms. In some cases, medication can help reverse or control chemical changes and return a person to normal or near normal functioning, but some imbalances have a permanent adverse impact on a person’s life.
When brain cells die, a person develops symptoms indicative of illnesses like Parkinson’s and other degenerative diseases. This is because cell death initiates chemical imbalances in the brain, which commonly lead to a further decline in cognition, motor skills and reflexes. For instance, in Parkinson’s disease, the death of brain cells decreases the production of the brain chemical dopamine, which interrupts neurotransmitter communication and creates symptoms such as body tremors and declining control over body movements.
Brain tumors may also cause imbalances in the brain. Tumors may be cancerous or benign, but their mere presence in the brain can interrupt chemical production and trigger unique symptoms. These symptoms often include changes in mood and personality, and may even include hallucinations, disorientation and delusions. With proper treatment, chemistry changes initiated by a brain tumor can often be restored.
Anxiety disorders are frequently caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. This imbalance may develop as the result of stress, trauma, abuse or a brain tumor. Each of these is capable of altering brain chemistry and triggering symptoms which may include panic attacks, excessive sweating and social withdrawal. Changes leading to mental illness can affect men and women at any age. Anxiety disorders are frequently treated with therapeutic intervention and medications created to help restore the chemical balance in the brain.
Chemical imbalances may also be present at birth. The symptoms of such an imbalance may or may not be apparent in young children. Often, imbalances are not diagnosed until they begin to affect a person’s life via mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Researchers studying the effects of chemicals in the brain have discovered that individuals suffering from mental illness usually have one or more family members suffering from the same or a closely related mental illness.