More and more people are confronted with the concepts of neurological impairment and disturbance. What are these terms, and how should they be interpreted? First of all, neurology is a science that studies the normal state of the nervous system and deals with the treatment of various pathologies resulting from external factors and diseases of other organs.
Types of neurological impairment. Neurological problems are usually divided into two fundamental blocks – pyramidal and extrapyramidal.
- The extrapyramidal system is the brain’s structure responsible for balance, emotion, posture, movement, and muscle tension. Malfunctions of this system lead to the development of hypokinesia or hyperkinesia.
- Hyperkinesia is a pathological neurological impairment in which there is an overestimated number of involuntary movements; this happens when neurons are damaged. The disease can spread to all organs of a person. The disease has no age limit.
- Hypokinesia has the opposite effect, as a result of which motor activity becomes inhibited. It develops against the background of an inactive lifestyle and psychological disorders.
- The pyramidal system is responsible for coordination and reflexes. In the event of system malfunctions, the integrity of the cortical-muscular pathway is violated. In other words, nerve impulses do not reach the target, resulting in no bodily reaction. The most common diseases in this group are paralysis and paresis (a group of ailments characterized by loss of movement).
Headaches. This phenomenon is exceedingly frequent, and it would seem that there are no people who do not have headaches or disturbances. However, in the case of sharp or unusual headaches associated, for example, with sexual activity, the main motto is caution and the urgent need to consult a doctor. The cause of sudden pain can be a dangerous modification of the superficial cerebral vessel. However, most patients do suffer from migraines or similar types of neurological impairment. But we must not forget that this symptom can also indicate circulatory disorders, inflammation, tumors, and metastases. That is why every patient with a chronic headache needs to have a specialist examination at least once.
- sudden appearance (explosion in the head)
- the first appearance of headaches at the age of 40
- prolonged and intensified headaches
- the appearance of accompanying symptoms:
- psychological changes
- epileptic seizures
Dizziness and imbalance. Complaints of dizziness, unusual headaches, and loss of consciousness always require special attention. During a conversation with a doctor, the identified diagnostic suspicions are confirmed by instrumental studies, an especially sensitive computer test, ultrasound of blood vessels or computer and magnetic resonance imaging, and sometimes by interdisciplinary consultations of doctors. In one-third of all patients, these symptoms were caused by vascular disease in the cerebral cortex and the associated high risk of stroke. Other commonly observed causes were diseases of the spine, inner ear, and cardiovascular disease.
Possible causes of dizziness and neurological impairment include:
- The use of medicines
- Poisoning by poisonous substances
- Visual impairment
- Diseases with impaired function of the organs of balance
- Headaches and back pain
- Neurological disorders of motor coordination
- Tumors and inflammation of the brain
- Epileptic seizures
- Spinal Cord Disorders
- Circulatory disorders of the brain
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Deposits in vessels
- Other reasons
Back pain can be a sign of nerve damage, especially stitching, pulling pains with a feeling of numbness or cold, and spasms or involuntary muscle contractions with loss of strength of certain muscle groups and weakness when performing specific types of movements. Spinal cord injuries can manifest as general uncertainty while walking and impaired emptying of the bladder and rectum. The neurologist conducts pain analysis, diagnostics of movements, motor skills, reflexes, and coordination, if necessary using electrical stimulation of nerves and computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the spine, spinal cord, and nerves.
In the case of sciatica, the doctor advises minimally invasive therapy. With the support of computer tomography, it is possible to inject medications into the affected region with millimeter accuracy, which leads to the cessation of pain within 24 hours.
Other therapies for neurological impairment are:
- bed rest
- drug therapy and infiltration
- reflex therapy
- cold therapy
- manual therapy and, if necessary, surgical treatment.
Besides, the focus is on the prevention and diagnosis of strokes and degenerative diseases.
A stroke, like its causes, is not accompanied by painful sensations. The vasoconstriction, most often the carotid artery, goes unnoticed by the patient; this makes preventive diagnostics especially important. In the course of this diagnosis, in addition to a conversation with a doctor and a detailed examination, the following are carried out:
- Vascular ultrasound (duplex sonography)
- Laboratory tests and blood pressure monitoring
- Magnetic resonance imaging.
Neurologists advise conducting a preventive examination every two years, starting from the age of forty (in the case of increased risk, from the age of thirty).
Typical symptoms of neurological impairment. Disorders of the nervous system are distinguished by many ailments, each of which has its symptoms. However, there are general signs, thanks to which it is possible to diagnose a neurological problem:
- headaches and migraine attacks
- speech disorders
- urinary incontinence
- trouble swallowing
- pain syndrome in the muscles of the legs, lower back, thoracic region
- imbalance, fainting
- numbness in various parts of the body
- fast fatiguability
- noise in ears
- loss of orientation in space
- memory losses.
When should you see a neurologist?
Neurology is a science that deals with a wide variety of diseases, from headaches to infectious ailments. The main diseases are divided into blocks.
- Brain problems– attention disorders, manic psychosis, neuroses, epilepsy, restless legs syndrome, brain trauma
- Problems with blood vessels of the brain fainting, ischemic brain disease, the consequences of strokes, dizziness
- Problems of the vegetative system- Raynaud’s disease, mountain sickness, migraine, vegetative-vascular dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, enuresis, muscular rheumatism, increased sweating, Alzheimer’s disease
- Spinal problems– scoliosis, back pain, sciatica, osteochondrosis, radicular syndrome, neuralgia, intervertebral hernia
To get a referral to a neurologist, you first need to consult a local therapist, who will determine whether the patient needs to be examined by a specialist doctor or not.
An appointment with a neurologist begins with an analysis of the patient’s complaints and subsequent diagnosis, which can take the following forms:
- functional diagnostics
- magnetic resonance imaging
- laboratory diagnostics
How is the treatment going? Therapy depends on the identified ailment and the degree of its development. Traditional methods of treatment include the following:
- medications and psychotherapy are the most gentle measures used to treat minor illnesses or mild disorders
- pharmacology modern drugs with a hormonal basis
- acupuncture treats and prevents the development of central nervous system problems
- neurosurgical intervention is used in the absence of other treatment alternatives.
Diseases of the nervous system strongly affect the quality of human life and performance. Regular overwork, stress, disturbance, and unfavorable external factors often lead to mild but constant failures from the nervous system. Unfortunately, in such cases, instead of proper treatment, people often resort to over-the-counter pain relievers or various nervous system stimulants (tonics, caffeine, and taurine-containing drinks). Unfortunately, this approach solves the problem but exacerbates it since it simply masks the root cause of headaches and a decrease in mental performance.When neurological impairment occurs, you must consult a specialist and not self-medicate; this is because only a neurologist will diagnose, prescribe adequate treatment, and select safe drugs correctly.