Interactive Health Library
Resources for Nervous System Disorders
Many types of trauma can cause an acute spinal cord injury. The more common types occur when the area of the spine or neck is bent or compressed.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurological disorder marked by the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. It is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after a famous baseball player who died from it.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, a disorder in which mental functions deteriorate and break down.
The brain is an important organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, respiration, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates your body.
Bell's palsy is an unexplained weakness or paralysis of the facial muscle that begins suddenly and worsens over three to five days. It can strike at any age, but it occurs most often in pregnant women, and in people who have diabetes, influenza, or another upper respiratory ailment.
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The tumor can either originate in the brain itself or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain.
Here is a list of nervous system disorders that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional.
Encephalitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the brain. The inflammation causes the brain to swell, which leads to changes in a person's neurologic condition, including mental confusion and seizures.
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.
A neurological exam may be performed with instruments, such as lights and reflex hammers, and usually does not cause any pain to the patient.
A glossary of terms relating to the nervous system.
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The disorder usually occurs a few days or weeks after a person has had symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection.
Lumbar disk disease is caused by a change in the structure of a spinal disk. Most of the time, disk disease is a result of aging and the degeneration that occurs within the disk.
Headaches vary greatly in terms of pain location, pain intensity, and how frequently they occur.
A head injury can be as mild as a bump, bruise, or cut on the head, or can be moderate to severe because of a concussion, deep cut, fractured skull bone(s), or internal bleeding.
One theory says that migraine pain occurs because of waves of activity by groups of excitable brain cells, which trigger chemicals, such as serotonin to constrict blood vessels.
The nervous system is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body's basic functions and activities. It is made up of two major divisions: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain. Most cases of meningitis are caused by viruses; bacterial meningitis is rare.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, chronic disease of the central nervous system. Some people with MS may be mildly affected, but others may lose their ability to write, speak, or walk.
Tension headaches are typically a steady ache, rather than a throbbing one, and affect both sides of the head. Stress or muscle tension is often the cause.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited diseases that are characterized by weakness and wasting away of muscle tissue, with or without the breakdown of nerve tissue.
Neurocutaneous syndrome is a broad term for a group of disorders. These diseases are life-long conditions that can cause tumors to grow inside the brain, spinal cord, organs, skin, and skeletal bones.
Neurology is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.
Neurological surgery is used to treat disorders of the brain, spine, and nerves. The doctor who specializes in neurological surgery is called a neurosurgeon or neurological surgeon.
A list of online resources to find additional information on nervous system disorders.
Disorders of the nervous system include stroke, infections such as meningitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and functional disorders such as headache and epilepsy.
Parkinson's disease is the most common form of parkinsonism, a group of motor system disorders. PD is slowly progressing and degenerative.
The goals of a neurological rehab program include helping the patient return to the highest level of function and independence, and improving the overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and socially.
Septicemia is the clinical name for blood poisoning. It is a medical emergency and requires urgent medical treatment.
Here is a list of the most common types of neurological disorders, including acute spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and headaches.
Stroke rehabilitation works best when the patient, family, and rehabilitation staff works together as a team. Family members must learn about impairments and disabilities caused by the stroke and how to help the patient achieve optimal function again.
Although there is no cure for stroke, advanced medical and surgical treatments are now available, giving many stroke victims hope for optimal recovery.
The most important controllable risk factor for stroke is controlling high blood pressure. Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher can damage the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
Almost every 40 seconds in the United States, a person experiences a stroke.
If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency medical service immediately. Treatment for stroke is most effective when started as soon as possible.
Evaluating and diagnosing damage to the nervous system is complicated and complex. Many of the same symptoms occur in different combinations among the different disorders.
To help diagnose a migraine, your doctor may ask you when your headaches occur, how long they last, and what they feel like.
Strokes are classified as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain.
A migraine headache is unique among headaches because it includes symptoms other than pain. Nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, and sensitivity to light are common with a migraine.
Cluster headaches occur in groups, or clusters, and individual attacks last one to three hours on average. They may occur every other day—or several times a day.
Ataxia is a symptom—not a disorder. It refers to a failure of muscle control in the arms and legs, resulting in a lack of balance, coordination, and possibly a disturbance in gait.
A cerebral aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain. This weak spot raises the risk that the artery wall will burst open.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder that causes weakness of the skeletal muscles. MG affects the voluntary muscles of the body, especially the eyes, mouth, throat, and limbs.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, first recognized stroke over 2,400 years ago. At this time stroke was called apoplexy, which means "struck down by violence" in Greek.
Muscular dystrophy causes the muscles in the body to become very weak. The muscles break down and are replaced with fatty deposits over time.
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. The disruption is caused when either a blood clot or piece of plaque blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
Detailed information on stroke, also called brain attack, including history, statistics, symptoms, types, effects, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation information
When an area of the brain is damaged, which typically occurs with a stroke, an impairment may result. An impairment is the loss of normal function of part of the body. Sometimes, an impairment may result in a disability, or inability to perform an activity in a normal way.
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