Neurological illnesses or neurological disorder are medical conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Neurological illness affect the central or peripheral nervous system. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people suffer from these disorders. Brain, nervous system, spinal cord, muscles, brainstem, cerebellum, many areas of the body can be affected.
Nervous or neurological disease is defined by central or peripheral nervous system dysfunction. They can be genetic, mental, traumatic or idiopathic (unknown cause).
The nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spine and nerves, controls all body movements and functions. Disorders of the nervous system, or neurological diseases, can disrupt normal body functions and movements.
Neurological illness refers to a range of disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Thus, neurological illness take many forms and are very different in their manifestations. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Charcot’s disease, brain tumors or Ménière’s disease are some of them. Migraines and epilepsy too. Whether it is their mechanism of appearance or the factors favoring them, these diseases remain shrouded in great mystery. But research is progressing. For some of these diseases, treatments exist to improve the quality of life of patients.
Examples of neurological illness
Neurological illnesses or neurological disorder can affect different parts of the nervous system and manifest in various ways. Some common types of neurological illnesses include:
These diseases are due to dysfunction of neuronal transmission in the cerebellum and in the nerve bundles connected to it. The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for coordinating voluntary movements. The first sign of ataxia is often a loss of balance which evolves continuously towards incoordination which will affect walking, posture, speech or eye movements for example.
Symptoms of Ataxia include uncoordinated movements, difficulty with balance and coordination, and slurred speech. In some cases, it can also cause difficulties with eye movements, swallowing, and fine motor skills. The symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause of the ataxia, which can include genetic factors, head injury, or alcohol abuse.
Treatment of Ataxia involves addressing the underlying cause, if possible, as well as symptomatic treatment to improve balance and coordination. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can all be helpful in managing the symptoms of Ataxia. Medications such as gabapentin, baclofen, or other muscle relaxants may also be prescribed to reduce symptoms.
The cerebrovascular accident (apoplexy)
Formerly called apoplexy, and today sometimes called cerebral attack, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) refers to the obstruction or rupture of a vessel carrying blood to the brain, which results in oxygen deprivation. A stroke is a medical emergency: it can be fatal and, in half of the cases, it causes sequelae that are all the more serious as treatment has been delayed.
A cerebrovascular accident, also known as a stroke or apoplexy, occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted.
Symptoms of a stroke can include sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Treatment of a cerebrovascular accident involves rapid intervention to restore blood flow to the brain. This can involve medications to dissolve blood clots or surgery to remove them. Rehabilitation may be necessary to help individuals recover function and mobility after a stroke.
An aneurysm is a pocket that forms in an area of weakness in the wall of an artery. The blood circulating in the artery on which an aneurysm develops, also circulates in the aneurysmal sac, which can be at the origin of its growth and much more rarely of its rupture. Read also: Aortic Aneurysm: Thoracic, Aortic, Thoracoabdominal, Stomach
A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain that can cause a rupture or a leak. Symptoms of a brain aneurysm can include headache, neck pain or stiffness, sensitivity to light, blurred or double vision, drooping eyelid, and loss of consciousness. In some cases, a ruptured aneurysm can cause a sudden, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.
Treatment of a brain aneurysm depends on its size and location. Small aneurysms may not require treatment, while larger aneurysms may need to be treated with surgical clipping or endovascular coiling to prevent rupture. Recovery from a ruptured aneurysm can be a lengthy process and may require rehabilitation to help individuals regain function and mobility.
Multiple system atrophy
It is a disease beginning in adulthood, characterized by a parkinsonian syndrome (slowness, rigidity, tremor), ataxia (imbalance, clumsiness), problems regulating blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension) or urinary and genital system (erection disorders). Any combination of these symptoms is possible.
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement, balance, and autonomic functions. Symptoms of MSA include difficulty with balance and coordination, tremors, muscle stiffness, difficulty speaking, and autonomic symptoms such as orthostatic hypotension and bladder control issues.
Treatment of MSA focuses on symptomatic management of the various symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage tremors and stiffness, while physical therapy can help improve balance and coordination. Autonomic symptoms may be treated with medications to regulate blood pressure and improve bladder control. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to improve bladder function.
Epilepsy is a poorly understood neurological illness that affects nearly 500,000 people in France, half of whom are under 20 years old. It is characterized by the repetition of unpredictable, sudden and often very brief crises, which take very diverse forms. This is the reason why it is necessary to speak of “DES” epilepsies and not of epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Symptoms of epilepsy can vary depending on the type of seizure, but may include convulsions, loss of consciousness, confusion, and temporary loss of motor control or sensation. Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic factors, head injury, or brain infections.
Treatment of epilepsy involves medication to prevent or reduce the frequency of seizures. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove brain tissue that is causing seizures. Lifestyle changes such as getting adequate sleep and avoiding triggers that can induce seizures may also be recommended.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that causes profound and severe impairment of physical and intellectual abilities. The sick person gradually loses his autonomy and becomes dependent for the acts of daily living.
Huntington’s chorea is a genetic disorder that affects movement and cognitive function. Symptoms of Huntington’s chorea include uncontrolled movements of the arms, legs, and face, difficulty with balance and coordination, and changes in mood and cognitive function.
Treatment of Huntington’s chorea focuses on managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Medications may be prescribed to reduce chorea and improve mood, while physical therapy and occupational therapy can help improve movement and maintain function. Counseling and support groups may also be helpful for individuals and families affected by the disorder. There is currently no cure for Huntington’s chorea, and the disorder typically progresses over time.
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease, related to Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike the latter, which affects almost the entire brain, FTD mainly affects the frontal and temporal lobes located in the anterior and lateral parts of the brain. Read also: Cingulate gyrus or cingulate cortex | Anatomy Location, Function and if Damaged?
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a group of disorders characterized by progressive damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Symptoms of FTD can vary depending on the subtype, but may include changes in personality and behavior, language difficulties, and difficulty with movement and coordination.
Treatment of FTD is focused on managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Medications may be prescribed to manage behavioral symptoms such as aggression and depression. Speech therapy and occupational therapy can help maintain language skills and function, while physical therapy may be helpful in managing movement difficulties.
Lewy body dementia
Dementia with Lewy Bodie (DLB) is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. It is a complex disease that borrows some symptoms from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, so it is difficult to recognize or diagnose.
Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies, abnormal protein deposits, in the brain. Symptoms of Lewy body dementia can include visual hallucinations, fluctuating cognition, and movement difficulties.
Treatment of Lewy body dementia involves managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Medications may be prescribed to manage cognitive and movement symptoms, while occupational therapy and physical therapy can help maintain function and mobility. Counseling and support groups may also be helpful for individuals and families affected by the disorder.
Dystonia is both a symptom and the name of a group of diseases, called dystonias. The symptom, or physical manifestation, is prolonged, involuntary contractions of muscles in one or more parts of the body, often resulting in twisting or distortion of that part of the body. The disorder is secondary to a malfunction of the central nervous system, probably in the region corresponding to the basal ganglia. In uncomplicated primary dystonia, there is no impairment of consciousness, sensation, or intellectual function.
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements. Symptoms of dystonia can include involuntary movements of the arms, legs, or other body parts, as well as pain and discomfort.
Treatment of dystonia involves managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Medications may be prescribed to manage muscle contractions, while physical therapy and occupational therapy can help improve movement and maintain function. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve muscle contractions and improve function.
Described in 1906 by German physician, psychiatrist and neurologist Alois Alzheimer, the disease now bearing his name is a neurodegenerative pathology.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia characterized by the gradual loss of cognitive function. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can include memory loss, confusion, difficulty with language, and changes in mood and behavior.
Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease involves managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Medications may be prescribed to manage cognitive symptoms and behavioral symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Occupational therapy and speech therapy can help maintain function and language skills, while counseling and support groups may be helpful for individuals and families affected by the disorder.
Charcot’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
ALS is a progressive neurological disease that selectively affects the motor systems. The loss of motor skills is the consequence of degeneration, that is to say cell death, of motoneurons, the nerve cells (neurons) that control voluntary muscles.
ALS is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the nerve cells that control muscles. Symptoms of ALS can include muscle weakness, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and difficulty with movement and coordination. As the disease progresses, individuals may experience difficulty breathing and may require a ventilator.
Treatment of ALS involves managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms such as muscle cramps and excessive saliva production. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help maintain function and improve quality of life, while speech therapy may be helpful in managing communication difficulties. Counseling and support groups may also be helpful for individuals and families affected by the disorder.
There is no known cure for ALS, and the disease typically progresses over time. However, some medications and therapies may help slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Clinical trials for new treatments and therapies for ALS are ongoing, and individuals with ALS may be eligible to participate in these trials.
Described for the first time in 1817 by an English doctor who gave it his name, Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system.
Causes: Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the brain.
Symptoms: Parkinson’s disease can cause tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and problems with balance and coordination.
Treatment: Medications can help manage symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and in some cases, surgery may be recommended.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement and balance. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can include tremors, muscle rigidity, difficulty with balance and coordination, and changes in speech and cognitive function.
Treatment of Parkinson’s disease involves managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Medications may be prescribed to manage movement symptoms and improve quality of life. Occupational therapy and physical therapy can help improve movement and maintain function, while counseling and support groups may be helpful for individuals and families affected by the disorder. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve symptoms and improve function.
Psychiatric illnesses and behavioral disorders
Psychic disorders range from simple anxiety to reactive depression to the most serious psychoses, including schizophrenia, bipolar depression, autism, etc. This means that any dysfunction or lesion of the nervous system instantly affects the individual, because of the resulting handicaps, and their ability to integrate.
Symptoms: Psychiatric illnesses and behavioral disorders can present with a wide range of symptoms depending on the specific disorder. Common symptoms include changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings that interfere with daily functioning, such as anxiety, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, irritability, agitation, or difficulty sleeping.
Treatments: Treatment for psychiatric illnesses and behavioral disorders can vary depending on the specific diagnosis and severity of symptoms. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication management, and/or other forms of support, such as group therapy, social skills training, or vocational rehabilitation.
Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or circular insanity) is a severe mental illness and is characterized by an exaggerated alternation of depressive and manic periods in humans. Between these two phases, the person returns to a normal state (euthymia) in daily life. Bipolar disease manifests in many degrees and follow-up is important. It is one of the most severe pathologies which leads to frequent suicide risks.
Symptoms: Bipolar disorders are characterized by extreme mood swings, ranging from periods of high energy and euphoria (mania) to periods of low mood and energy (depression). Other symptoms may include impulsivity, irritability, racing thoughts, or reckless behavior.
Treatments: Treatment for bipolar disorders typically involves medication management, such as mood stabilizers or antipsychotic medications, as well as psychotherapy to help individuals manage symptoms and improve coping skills.
Depression is a common illness all over the world. It is the number one cause of disability worldwide. It can affect adults, women being most often affected, but also children and adolescents. It is a complex disease that is not always easy to detect, especially in children. In the worst case, depression can lead to suicide.
Symptoms: Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. Other symptoms may include changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, irritability, or difficulty concentrating.
Treatments: Treatment for depression often involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication management, such as antidepressants. Other forms of support, such as exercise, social support, or relaxation techniques, may also be helpful in managing symptoms.
Schizophrenia is characterized by a loss of contact with reality; this is due to a “defect in certain neural circuits of the brain” resulting in disability. The most striking symptoms are hallucinatory delusions. Drugs are the triggers of the disease but also strong emotions, social tensions, work pressures. Schizophrenia causes family disruption and great suffering for all loved ones.
Symptoms: Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. Negative symptoms include reduced emotional expression, social withdrawal, and lack of motivation. Cognitive symptoms include difficulties with attention, memory, and decision-making.
Treatments: Treatment for schizophrenia typically involves a combination of medication management and psychotherapy. Antipsychotic medications can be effective in reducing positive symptoms, and other medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, may be used to manage associated symptoms. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or family therapy, can help individuals manage symptoms, improve communication and social skills, and develop coping strategies. Other forms of support, such as vocational rehabilitation, may also be helpful in improving quality of life and functioning. It is important to note that treatment should be individualized and may require ongoing monitoring and adjustment.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D.)
Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) are repetitive and irrational but irrepressible behaviors that most often affect young subjects, even children. They are characterized by obsessions and/or compulsions, each of which can lead to a state of distress, anxiety, considerable loss of time and significant interference with daily activities.
Symptoms: OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) used to alleviate anxiety related to those thoughts. Other symptoms may include a fear of germs or contamination, the need for symmetry or order, or persistent doubts about one’s actions.
Treatments: Treatment for OCD often involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication management, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Behavioral therapies, such as exposure and response prevention (ERP), can also be helpful in reducing symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, addiction does not reflect a weakness or lack of willpower in the dependent individual. Psychoactive substances act on the cerebral system, invade it, modify its functioning. The brain undergoes complex disturbances of its mechanisms, resulting in a complete loss of behavioral control in these people. It is therefore a neurological illness that must be considered and treated as such.
Symptoms: Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use despite negative consequences. Other symptoms may include withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit, loss of control over use, or continued use despite awareness of harm.
Treatments: Treatment for addiction typically involves a combination of medication management and behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or motivational interviewing (MI). Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can also be helpful in maintaining sobriety.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects brain function. It appears early in childhood and may persist into adulthood. It is manifested by alterations in the ability to establish social interactions and to communicate, as well as by behavioral disorders. People with autism often seem isolated in some sort of inner world.
Symptoms: Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communication difficulties, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. Other symptoms may include sensory sensitivities or delays in language development.
Treatments: Treatment for autism often involves early intervention and a combination of therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech and language therapy, or occupational therapy. Medications may also be used to manage associated symptoms, such as anxiety or hyperactivity.
Also called Gilles de la Tourette, is a neurological pathology, of genetic origin. The associated clinical signs result in motor and/or sound tics. These neurological responses are involuntary, sudden and brief. Behavior, attention, sleep, learning or even panic attacks can also be the consequence of such a syndrome.
Symptoms: Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements or vocalizations called tics. Other symptoms may include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or attention difficulties.
Treatments: Treatment for Tourette syndrome may involve a combination of medication management, such as antipsychotics or alpha-adrenergic agonists, and behavioral therapies, such as habit reversal training (HRT) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Other forms of support,
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s movements from birth. It is a permanent disability that does not usually worsen over time. It is caused by damage to the baby’s developing brain, either during pregnancy or around birth. Every day, 4 newborns are affected by this disease.
Symptoms: Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect movement, posture, and muscle coordination. Symptoms can vary widely depending on the severity and type of cerebral palsy, but may include spasticity, stiffness, tremors, impaired motor function, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
Treatments: Treatment for cerebral palsy may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medication management, and surgical interventions. The goal of treatment is to improve mobility, reduce pain, and improve quality of life.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is defined as a chronic, often disabling neurological disease that affects only the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Many advances in imaging, investigative techniques and research have clarified the different mechanisms that are at the origin of this multifactorial disease.
Causes: The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerves.
Symptoms: MS can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, muscle weakness, tremors, numbness, and problems with coordination and balance.
Treatment: There is currently no cure for MS, but medications can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Read also: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system)
Symptoms: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms can vary widely and may include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, difficulty with coordination and balance, vision problems, and cognitive impairment.
Treatments: Treatment for multiple sclerosis may include disease-modifying medications, symptom management medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and improve quality of life.
The cerebellar syndrome
The cerebellar syndrome is a disorder whose origin is linked to a lesion of the cerebellum and/or the nerve pathways in relation to the cerebellum.
Symptoms: Cerebellar syndrome is a group of neurological disorders that affect the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that coordinates movement and balance. Symptoms may include difficulty with coordination and balance, tremors, and difficulties with speech and eye movements.
Treatments: Treatment for cerebellar syndrome may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to improve coordination, balance, and communication skills. Medications may be prescribed to manage associated symptoms, such as tremors.
The essential tremor
It is a neurological disease corresponding to the most frequent pathology of abnormal movements.
Symptoms: Essential tremor is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary shaking or tremors, usually affecting the hands, head, and voice. Tremors may worsen with movement or stress.
Treatments: Treatment for essential tremor may include medication management, such as beta-blockers or anticonvulsants, or surgical interventions, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) or thalamotomy, which involves destroying a small part of the brain responsible for the tremor.
Brain tumors result from the uncontrolled proliferation of certain cells.
Symptoms: Brain tumors can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on the size and location of the tumor. Symptoms may include headaches, seizures, changes in mood or behavior, cognitive difficulties, and weakness or numbness in the limbs.
Treatments: Treatment for brain tumors may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. The goal of treatment is to remove or shrink the tumor and manage associated symptoms. Rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, may also be helpful in improving quality of life and functioning after treatment.
Information: Cleverly Smart is not a substitute for a doctor. Always consult a doctor to treat your health condition.