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Our nervous system is a highly complex network of cells of the brain, the spinal cord, muscles, and nerves that impact our memory, perception, language, movement, swallowing, breathing, and bowel and bladder functions. Any disorder of the nervous system can topsy-turvy this balance. 


Therefore, an early understanding of the disorders of the nervous system, also known as a neurological disorders can lead to proper diagnosis and treatment and prevent serious complications. 

Here are six common neurological disorders that you need to be aware of: 

Headaches

Otherwise not worrisome, headaches can indicate a serious underlying condition if they occur suddenly and repeatedly. Moreover, if they persist along with a fever, light sensitivity, and a stiff neck they could be symptoms for a much more serious condition such as intracranial bleeding or meningitis, which requires immediate medical attention. And although tension headaches and migraines aren’t as serious, the chronic pain can be difficult to bear with, requiring the treatment of a doctor so they don’t keep hampering your daily functioning.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Epilepsy is common and involves abnormal electrical activity in the brain that makes patients more susceptible to having recurrent, unprovoked seizures. These seizures cannot be explained by factors such as exposure to or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, or attributed to other medical issues such as severe electrolyte abnormalities in the brain and other organs, and tissues, or a very high level of sugar in the blood. More than one seizure requires diagnosis. Treatment options are available including epilepsy surgery that involves the removal of the seizure focus in the brain which can prove to be a curative solution. 

Stroke

A brain stroke can result in disability or in severe cases, death. A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain stops due to the formation of a clot or blockage in the artery. 


Doctors use the B.E. F.A.S.T. mnemonic to identify the signs of a stroke: 

  • B: Balance difficulties
  • E: Eyesight changes
  • F: Face weakness
  • A: Arm weakness 
  • S: Speech, and 
  • T: Time.

Although not always indicative of a stroke these signs and symptoms necessitate immediate help from a doctor just to be doubly sure. 

ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is an uncommon neuromuscular condition that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Doctors estimate that ALS may be caused by genetics and environmental factors.


ALS symptoms include: 

  • muscle weakness and twitching 
  • tight and stiff muscles
  • slurred speech, and 
  • difficulty breathing and swallowing. 

Early evaluation and treatment by a neuromuscular neurologist is absolutely necessary.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Memory loss is normal in aging adults but certain symptoms may indicate Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia such as:

  • losing your way and getting lost 
  • inability to manage finances
  • inability to conduct daily activities  
  • leaving the stove on and similar incidents
  • forgetting the names of close family members and friends 
  • having problems with speech and language 
  • behavioral changes

Dementia is a slowly progressive condition and involves the loss of cognitive functioning - thinking, remembering and reasoning. A neurologist can evaluate and suggest medications and therapies although completely curing the disease is not possible.

Parkinson’s Disease

A progressive nervous system disorder, Parkinson’s disease primarily affects coordination. It can deteriorate over time. Though not curable presently, it can be managed with many modern treatment options.

The symptoms of a neurological disease should not be ignored. Seek help as soon as possible. 


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