Encephalomalacia is nothing but the brain damage, which is very severe in condition. This condition can occur at all aged people. Severe accident and any infection affecting brain are the primary cause for the occurrence of encephalomalacia. The easy term for encephalomalacia is cerebral softening, where the brain tissues are softened because of haemorrhage in brain or may be due to inflammation. Particular region of brain gets affected in this condition. Rarely encephalomalacia can spread throughout the brain. The softening of brain tissues occur because of degeneration and deterioration on an extreme level. It needs immediate medical attention, if not treated on time then the condition get worsen and affect other part of brain, causing tissue damage.

The parts of brain where the chance of occurrence is higher are frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe.

Causes of encephalomalacia

  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Haemorrhage in brain
  • Scar tissue
  • Degeneration
  • Deterioration
  • Blocked blood supply on brain
  • Infection
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Chemical toxins which affect the brain tissues
  • Surgery
  • Leptomeningeal cysts

Symptoms of encephalomalacia

  • Severe headache
  • Lowered coordination
  • Spinning sensation on head region
  • Loss of memory
  • Mood swing
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Impairment in vision, which can be temporary or permanent.
  • Clumsiness

The symptoms mentioned above will exist severely or slightly, depending up on the condition. If the condition is mild then the symptoms can exist slightly. In very severe case, this condition may further worsen and cause terminal coma of the individual.


Types of encephalomalacia

There are two types found, they are;

  1. Polioencephalomalacia
  2. Leukoencephalomalacia


The gray matter of brain gets affected, and then that condition is termed as polioencephalomalacia, the other term for polioencephalomalacia is cerebrocortical necrosis. The disruption of thiamine production may lead to this condition. The main part of central nervous system is the grey matter. The grey matter has essential role in muscle controlling, emotions, speech, sensory perception and memory.


When the white matter of brain gets affected then that condition is called leukoencephalomalacia, the white matter of brain contains axons, these are the nerve fibres that is long, myelin covers the axon region, and these myelin are fatty substance protecting the axons on brain. Several part of gray matter of brain is connected by axon. The signal is passed from one end to other end of cerebrum. To the lower brain region and cerebrum signals are passed. White matter is responsible for the functions or several actions in our body like heart rate, breathing, temperature regulation of our body, blood pressure maintenance.

 Categories of Encephalomalacia

There are three categories of encephalomalacia they are;

  1. Red softening
  2. White softening
  3. Yellow softening

Red softening

The affected area of brain gets red in colour; the brain tissue becomes red colour and softened. This type softening occurs in haemorrhagic stroke people. In those cases, there will be leakage of blood from artery or capillary and then it would get saturated in that region.

White softening

The part of brain is either yellow or white here; this is due to the blood vessel seen on that brain region. When you see that region becomes white in colour that might indicate the supply of blood to that region is absent. That may be due to tissue death or leakage or block found on that region. Which prevent the blood supply to that region?

Yellow softening

The brain tissue gets in to yellow in colour; the plaque will get builded on arteries of brain region, trauma case people commonly experience this type softening of brain tissue.

Diagnosis of encephalomalacia

Diagnosis of the condition can be made by taking CT scan or MRI scan, by taking these scans changes in brain tissue and severity of the condition can be identified, then we can proceed with the treatment procedures.


There is no proper and effective treatment found still now to cure this condition, since the brain tissues are affected and if treatment get started there is also no assurance for complete cure, the affected area of brain region especially the tissues can be removed and then replaced, but the functioning of brain are severely affected, this condition is still worsen among infants and kids. They will also encounter the problems of neurological deficiencies.

Depending up on the region that’s get affected in brain the condition can be said as mild or severe, then proper therapy is advised, also knowing the possible causes for the occurrence of the condition.

I hope the above furnished information will definitely be useful to everyone who goes through it. Thanks for taking time to read out my article, after reading out please share it among your groups in social media, since sharing is like caring.

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Dt. Ramya Sri

Chief Nutrition & Fitness Consultant- Expertise in Nutrition, Fitness, Healthcare sector. Ramya has spirit, dedication in work, passion for Fitness and sales, love fitness and nutrition profile, skillful, multitasking with 10 years of proven skills in Fitness and nutrition field.

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