Common Neurological Disorders
Common Neurological Disorders are diseases of the nervous system. These diseases affect the brain, spinal cord, the nerves, autonomic nervous system and the muscles. In this article we shall discuss three common neurological disorders — Migraines, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
A migraine headache is one of the general of common neurological disorders that is often characterized by an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. It is usually accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine in some individuals is predictable since it is preceded by an “aura” of visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zigzag lines or a temporary loss of vision.
Migraine headaches are triggered by a number of different factors, including bright or flashing lights, lack of food or sleep, or exposure to light. Common medication may be taking a combination of drugs to prevent occurrence of a migraine attack or the medication may help limit the disabling effects of an already occurring headache.
Migraine is three times more common in women than in men. In women it often relates to changes in hormones and hormonal levels. Other triggers include anxiety, stress, or relaxation after stress. Women whose migraine is directly linked to their menstrual cycle are likely to have fewer attacks and milder symptoms after menopause.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
Alzheimer’s is now amongst the most of common neurological disorders which causes a progressive degeneration of brain cells. The cells eventually lose function and die. The first signs of Alzheimer’s disease often include memory loss, language difficulties and trouble with routine activities such as dressing, bathing, driving and shopping. As the disease progresses behavioral changes such as aggression, agitation, delusions and verbal outbursts may occur.
Research indicates that cells in the hippocampus which play a major role in the formation of memories seem to be especially vulnerable to AD. In brain-imaging studies of people with AD, the hippocampus is consistently smaller than normal.
Treatments for Alzheimer’s include medications that increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter involved in the learning and memory processes. Drugs such as Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl have been modestly successful in some patients for improving memory and attention skills and have had a beneficial effect on behavioral symptoms such as aggression.
Parkinson’s disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease has been categorized a “notorious” of the common neurological disorders that belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders. PD occurs as a result of loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The primary symptoms of PD are tremor or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; slowness of movement; and postural impaired body balance and coordination.
These PD symptoms are usually accompanied by difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. Other symptoms may include depression, difficulty in swallowing and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems and sleep disruptions.
PD is both chronic and progressive, meaning it persists over a long period of time as its symptoms grow worse. Although some people become severely disabled, others experience only minor motor disruptions. The symptoms may appear in differing levels depending on the individual patient and the intensity of the symptoms varies from person to person.
In our next post we will explore more of the common neurological disorders, their causes and available treatment.