Neurological disorders are diseases of the nervous system which include the brain, spine and the nerves connecting them. It’s been estimated that there are about 600 different types of neurological disorders that affect the nervous system including various types of brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, strokes and migraines.
According to the World Health Organization, various types of neurological disorders affect millions of people globally with about 326 million people suffering from migraines and about 24 million more suffering from Alzheimer’s currently. The best way to determine if there is something really wrong within your body is when some radical changes occur within you in a very short time gap or if you are suddenly unable to perform an activity or feel a sensation that you could earlier on. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the different types of neurological disorders as they can have diverse manifestations.
The human central nervous system is a complex one with the brain and spinal cord being covered by a number of membranes to insulate them from pressure and injury. The peripheral nerves located beneath the skin are also part of this system, and quite vulnerable to damage. Even a small injury or disturbance to a single neuron’s pathway can result in neurological dysfunction.
The signs and symptoms of neurological disorders are what guide the doctor to making a diagnosis; symptoms are what the patient feels and tells the doctor. This cannot be quantified, unlike the signs, which can be measured by the doctor; for example the blood pressure can be measured or quantified. The signs and symptoms of neurological disorders don’t always go hand in hand; for instance, the patient may feel hot, but not register any temperature on the thermometer. Some of the major signs and symptoms include total or partial amnesia (loss of memory), difficulties in speech or swallowing and loss of balance or improper muscle coordination resulting in inability to walk with a normal gait (ataxia). Nerves responsible for normal sight and sound as well as for feeling pressure, pain, heat and taste may also become affected depending on the location of the nerve damage or disease, resulting in their inability to send signals of these sensations.
Other physical symptoms include partial or complete paralysis, partial or complete loss of sensation, difficulty in reading and writing, seizures, poor cognitive abilities, decreased alertness, muscle weakness and unexplained pain.
It is important to understand that aside from physical symptoms, there are also neurological symptoms of neurological disorders. Emotional upsets such as mood swings, sudden outbursts, depression or delusion are some of the emotional symptoms of neurological problems.
The signs of neurological conditions vary significantly depending upon the type of disorder and the area of the body affected.
Getting diagnosed with a neurological condition can be quite distressing, but then medical science has developed so far that there are drug options available to help in managing neurological conditions as well as improve the quality of life.