From the moment of birth to a ripe old age, our body accumulates damaging factors from an improper lifestyle, stress, and environmental influences. The nervous system reacts to this, trying to compensate for the negative impact. But the possibilities of our body are not endless, and over the years, the body does not get younger. Thus, as a person gets older, the more likely it is that neurological disorders will develop.
Pathological conditions of the nervous system can be divided into three groups:
- a group of diseases with damage to the central nervous system
- a group of diseases with damage to the peripheral nervous system
- a group of diseases involving both the central and peripheral nervous systems
Signs of neurological disorders can vary greatly depending on the type of disorder and the specific area of the body affected. In some cases, you may experience emotional symptoms, and in other cases, physical symptoms may result.
While many people often look for the physical symptoms of the disorder first, it is important to understand that there can also be emotional symptoms of neurological problems. For example, you may experience mood swings or sudden mood swings. People with neurological problems can also experience depression or delirium.
What are neurological disorders?
Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In other words, they are diseases of the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular nodes, and muscles. These disorders include epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, cerebrovascular diseases including stroke, migraine and other types of headache, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, neuroinfections, brain tumors, traumatic nervous system disorders such as brain injury, and neurological disorders as a result of insufficient nutrition.
Many infections can affect the nervous system, including bacterial (mycobacterial tuberculosis, meningococcus), viral (human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), enteroviruses, West Nile virus, Zika virus), fungal (cryptococcus, Aspergillus), and parasitic (malaria, Chagas disease). The infection itself or the immune response can lead to the development of neurological symptoms.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from neurological disorders. More than six million people die each year from stroke; more than 80% of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. More than 50 million people in the world suffer from epilepsy. An estimated 47.5 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and 7.7 million new cases occur annually. The primary cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 60-70% of dementia cases. The prevalence of migraine in the world is over 10%.
Of course, there are diseases and symptoms with which patients more commonly turn to a neurologist.
One of the most formidable categories of pathological conditions of the nervous system is the one associated with the vessels of the brain. Acute violation of cerebral circulation (stroke), as a rule, leads to irreversible dysfunctions of the brain and disability.
Stroke is classified into ischemic (most common) and hemorrhagic. The causes of neurological problems in ischemic stroke are vascular obstruction due to compression or thrombosis. Hemorrhagic stroke is a hemorrhage in the brain due to dissection of an aneurysm or rupture of a vessel.
A stroke requires immediate hospitalization. Similar symptoms can be caused by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a transient ischemic stroke. With such a picture (against the background of treatment), the symptoms disappear within a day.
Risk factors leading to cerebrovascular accidents are arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances, diabetes mellitus, obesity, high cholesterol levels, blood clotting disorders, vascular diseases, smoking, alcohol, and more.
Stroke symptoms: facial asymmetry, speech impairment, weakness and loss of strength in the limbs on one side, visual impairment, impaired sensitivity (numbness) of the face and limbs, impaired coordination (instability), dizziness, vomiting, loss of consciousness.
The sooner a patient with a stroke is admitted to the hospital and treatment begins, the more chances there are to avoid death and minimize irreversible changes in the functions of the nervous system. In addition to acute circulatory disorders of the brain, there is often a chronic dysfunction of the cerebral vessels, usually of atherosclerotic etiology. This dysfunction manifests itself with varying degrees of memory impairment, changes in intelligence, behavior, autonomic symptoms, coordination disorders, etc.
The causes of seizures can be:
- Damage to the child’s brain at the time of childbirth, genetic diseases, brain tumors, traumatic or metabolic damage to the central nervous system.
The morphology of epileptic seizures is diverse. It is customary to divide epileptic seizures into generalized (spreading to the entire brain) and focal (limited to one or several areas of the brain). In turn, generalized include:
- Generalized convulsive seizure. These are manifested by a sudden loss of consciousness, fall, first tonic tension of the muscles of the body and limbs, then clonic convulsive muscle contractions, involuntary urination, tongue bite, further confusion.
- Myoclonic seizure is manifested by a sharp short contraction of certain muscle groups.
- Absence seizure. An attack that manifests itself as a short-term blackout but without falling and convulsive contractions. The patient suddenly freezes, stops the started activity and speech. After the seizure has ended, speech and activity continue.
The most common reason for visiting a neurologist is a headache.
There are many reasons for headaches. Migraine is manifested by attacks of headache on one side, ending with vomiting, which brings relief. Before a migraine attack, an aura may occur- visual phenomena (e.g. visual disturbances, flickering, lightning), unpleasant sensations (e.g. photophobia, fear of sound, increased sensitivity to odors). Then comes an attack of severe headache, which does not allow you to work or rest as usual. Analgesics do not help with this picture. Special medications are required.
Now you have learned what types of neurological problems exist, thanks to our article. Therefore, if you have similar symptoms, then immediately consult a doctor.