Pathologies of the Neurological System

Published on 7th December 2020

Pathologies of the Neurological System

The neurological system, more commonly known as the nervous system consists of the brain and nerves, the largest being the vagus nerve that is instrumental in stimulating the parasymapthetic nervous sytem. 

Here are some common diseases and disorders;

Alcohol abuse

Alcohol acts as depressant on the brain and other nerve tissue.  It slows down the functioning of nerves cell and activity in the central nervous system.

Cancer

A central nervous system tumour begins when healthy cells in the brain or the spinal cord change and grow out of control.

Glioblastoma and meningioma are the two most common brain tumours found in adults.

Depression – clinical, bipolar affective disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), post-natal

Central Nervous System depression is a physiological state that can result in a decreased rate of breathing, decreased heart rate and loss of consciousness possibly leading to coma or death. It is the result of inhibited or suppressed brain activity.

Other depressions can cause memory loss and reaction time during everyday activities, irritability, headaches, anger, and loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure, and chronic body aches and pain that may not respond to medication.  It’s also sometimes an effect of certain neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

Drug abuse

Regions of the brain are disrupted by drug abuse. The brain stem, limbic system, and cerebral cortex are all affected.

Like neurotransmitters, drugs can speed up (stimulate) or slow down (depress) the transfer of electro-chemical messages between neurons in the brain.

Epilepsy

A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Headache

A persistent or lasting pain the head region. Can be a sign of stress or emotional distress or can result from a medical disorder such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety or depression.

Migraine

A recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanies by nausea and disturbed vision.

Stroke

Occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes.

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

Also known as a mini-stroke. A neurological event with the signs and symptoms of a stroke, but which go away within a short period of time.  Due to a temporary lack of adequate blood and oxygen to the brain.

Concussion

A type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head.  Symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, memory loss and blurred or double vision.

Dementia

A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes cause by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning.

Meningitis

An infection (usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection) of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).  Can cause sepsis and result in permanent damage to the brain and nerves.

Myasthenia gravis

A rare chronic autoimmune disease marked by muscular weakness without atrophy, and caused by a defect in the action of acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions. Commonly affects the muscles that control the eyes and eyelids, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing and speaking.

Paralysis

The loss of the ability to move in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison or injury. Can be broadly categorised into five main types: monoplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia and quadriplegia.

Poliomyelitis

A viral disease where the virus enters the mouth and multiplies in lymphoid tissues in the pharynx and intestine. Small numbers of the virus enter the blood and go to other sites where it multiples more extensively. Another round of viremia leads to invasion of the central nervous system, the spinal cord and brain.

Spinal cord injury

Damage to the spinal cord that causes temporary or permanent changes in its function. Symptoms my include loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function to the parts of the body served by that part of the spinal cord.

Spina bifida

A congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbones.  Can cause paralysis of the lower limbs, and sometimes learning difficulties.

 

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