A neurological disease is a type of disease that affects the central nervous system, which is responsible for many functions in the body. The brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, bones and organs are all linked to this part of the body, but can be affected by a variety of neurological disorders. Neurological diseases are categorized into four main categories. These include
- Neurological diseases that can affect the central nervous system
- Neurological diseases that affect the peripheral nervous system
- Neurological diseases that affect both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system and neurologic conditions
- The fourth category is a special category that refers to brain injuries
Most neurological diseases that affect the central nervous system involve problems with the brain’s neurological system and do not directly affect other organs such as the
This group includes
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Spinal muscular atrophy and others
A neurological disease that affects the peripheral nervous system is characterized by the loss of sensation from the affected area. It may affect any part of the body. This is a broad category that includes conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
It may also include muscular degeneration, muscular spasms, nerve damage and problems with the autonomic nervous system. A neurological disease that affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems is known as multiple sclerosis.
This is one of the most debilitating and common forms of the disease, with the disease affecting almost half of all patients who have it. Multiple sclerosis can have a profound impact on the physical, mental and emotional well-being of a patient. Read: Brain Tumors: Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment (Neurological Disease and Therapy)
Motor abilities are affected by many types of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries and motor neurons that die. Motor neurons are a group of cells that are responsible for coordinating the movement of muscles in the body. Damage to these cells may result in motor disabilities.
The most common neurological disease is Parkinson’s disease
This occurs when the dopamine (a chemical in the brain that helps control movement) production in the body is altered. This is one of the most common neurological disorders affecting people today. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include
- A slowed or immobile gait
- Stiffness of the muscles
- Problems with swallowing
- Speaking and swallowing movements
- Loss of balance
- Swallowing, slurred speech and motor weakness
Brain injuries and brain infections also can be very serious. When you have a brain injury or a brain infection, you have a greater risk of having a neurological condition because a damaged or infected brain may affect the functions of the body’s systems.
When a person has a neurological condition, he or she may experience
- Memory loss
- Severe headaches
- Muscle spasms
A neurologist will be able to determine if you have this condition based on the way in which the patient’s body reacts to various stimuli. If you have a traumatic brain injury, you may be unable to remember what happened after an accident or how long it takes for your body to heal.
If you were a victim of a car accident, you may have no recollection of being hit but will know that you need to pay attention when you drive. Neurological diseases of all types are extremely serious and can severely affect the quality of life of the patient. Most people diagnosed with these diseases have no hope for recovery.
There is currently no cure for all neurological disorders
Though, the medical community is making great strides toward the goal of finding treatments and medications that will make the lives of patients more comfortable and less painful. Because of the complexity involved in treating neurological disorders, doctors try to diagnose them as early as possible.
It is important to talk to your doctor about all the symptoms you are experiencing, especially if they last longer than three months. After the diagnosis has been made, you should see a medical professional at the earliest convenience to determine which treatment options may be best for you.
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