Neurological disorders cover diseases present in the brain, peripheral nerves, spinal cord, nerve roots, cranial nerves, neuromuscular junction, autonomic nervous system, and muscles. There are more than 400 known cases of Neurological disorders according to a list by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), some of which are common while others are relatively rare. Neurological.co.uk provide description of symptoms, prognosis, treatment options, as well as information about ongoing research on potential therapies, causes, and diagnosis of diseases listed. Also featured is contact information for health organizations and related professionals. According to the World Health Organization in 2006, there were about 1 billion people suffering from various kinds of neurological disorders. The number has grown since. In 2016, the WHO reported that stroke causes more than 6 million deaths a year and 80% of these cases occur in low and middle income countries.
What Are Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders are diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves and common symptoms include muscle weakness, paralysis, confusion, poor coordination, seizures, loss of sensation, altered levels of consciousness, and pain. They can be assessed through a process called neurological examination, and treatments are carried out by neuropsychology and neurology specialists.
Common cases of neurological disorders include epilepsy; cardiovascular diseases- including stroke; migraine and other headache diseases; Alzheimer disease and other dementias; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; neurological disorders as a result of malnutrition; head trauma leading to traumatic nervous system disorders; and brain tumours.
Other WHO studies show that there are more than 50 million cases of epilepsy worldwide; it is estimated that people with dementia are about 47.5 million globally, with 7.7 million new cases each year – the most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and contributes to approximately 60–70% of cases; the occurrence of migraine is more than 10% worldwide
Causes of Neurological Disorders
The spinal cord and brain are enveloped in the bones of the spinal vertebrae and skull, surrounded by firm membranes, and kept separate by a chemical isolation. However, they tend to be quite vulnerable when compromised. The interconnected neurons in the brain are susceptible to structural and electrochemical disruptions. Although they are deep-seated in the inner layer of the skin, nerves still suffer exposure to damages.
The direct causes of individual disorders vary, but can be linked to various broad causes such as congenital abnormalities; nerve, spinal cord and brain injury; genetic disorders. Treatments of cancer have also been known to cause neurological complications.
Other well-known causes where disorders of other systems of the body lead neurological problems include: cardiovascular disorders- mostly vain and artery ruptures that affect blood supply to the brain causing stroke and other diseases; autoimmune- where the body’s immune system attacks it’s own healthy cell tissues causing damage to the brain and neural network.
Infections can also cause neurological disorders by affecting the nervous systems, they include fungal- Aspergillus and Cryptococcus; bacterial- Neisseria meningitides and Mycobacterial tuberculosis; parasitic- Chagas and malaria; viral- Enteroviruses, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), West Nile Virus, and Zika.
There are other cases of neurological disorders connected with cancer such as lymphoma and paraneoplastic neurological syndrome that affects the brain, spinal cord and nervous systems.
According to the US National Institute of Health, environmental factors largely contribute to the outset and progression of neurological disorders. Some of the factors include:
- An increased use of pesticides due to changes in pest management.
- Exposure to harmful wastes, biotoxins, chemicals and metals in food, water and the air.
- Extreme weather occurrences, dislocation and stress which can have a vast effect on the functions of the brain, neural network’s and nervous systems.
- Increase in the release of algae leading to presence of neurotoxins in fresh and marine water, and seafood which can lead to distress in the respiratory system, severe brain degradation, and general disturbances in human health.
FAQs About Neurological Disorders
What is a Neurological Examination?
This is a process carried out by a neurologist, determining if a patient’s symptoms point to a neurological dysfunction. The process does not normally cause any pain, it is commonly performed with reflex hammers and lights. Aspects of the exam include evaluation of coordination and balance, mental state, sensory and motor skills, reflexes, and nerve functions. A medical history of the patient is also carried out. The exam’s scope relies on a varying number of factors that includes the patient’s age, condition, initial problem.
What are the Warning Symptoms of Neurological Disorders
Visit a neurologists when these signs occur:
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of strength in muscles or general weakness
- Complete or partial paralysis
- Writing it reading difficulty
- Lack of alertness
- Unexpected loss of sight
- Loss of feeling in parts of the body
- Strange muscular pains
Can Neurological Diseases be Treated?
Neurological disorders can be treated. They vary and so do their treatments. Symptomatic relief and treatment can be performed by neurologists when they carry out and interpret results of tests on the brain and nervous system. With treatment, it is possible for patients to lead a healthy life.
Who Treats Neurological Disorders
Neurologists specialise in treatment of disorders connected to the brain, spinal cord and nervous systems. However, they’re different types of neurologists, they include: clinical neurologists, vascular neurologists, pediatric neurologists, neuromuscular neurologists and more.
How does One Prevent Neurological Disorders?
A number disorders including brain tumors, epilepsy, and genetic disease-related disorders are not preventable. However some disorders like stroke and others can be prevented by keeping a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy exercise routine often supervised by a medical expert, keeping a healthy environment free of neurotoxins, abstinence from smoking and reduction of fat consumption can help reduce the risk of aneurysms, continual monitoring of the blood vessel and healthy exercise regime can also prevent stroke. Finally regularly check-uos especially when early onset of symptoms arise can help identify neurological problems at their nascent stages.
To get more in depth analysis and detailed information on specific neurological cases, their causes, effects and treatments, visit this FAQs page.
One out of every six persons is currently suffering from a kind of neurological disorder and most of these cases are either preventable or treatable, but for lack of information, cases tend to escalate and often result total motor impairment or death. With the right information and specialist, patients suffering from neurological disorder can lead a quality life.