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|Central Nervous System Disease|
|Classification and external resources|
|Central Nervous System Disease|
|Classification and external resources|
The spinal cord transmits sensory reception from the peripheral nervous system. It also conducts motor information to the body's skeletal muscles, cardiac muscles, smooth muscles, and glands. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves along the spinal cord. These nerves each contain both sensory and motor axons. The spinal cord is protected by vertebrae and connects the peripheral nervous system to the brain, and it acts as a "minor" coordinating center.
It allows the body to function. The brain is protected by the skull; however, if the brain is damaged, the results to the human body can be very consequential.
Catalepsy is a nervous disorder characterized by immobility and muscular rigidity, along with a decreased sensitivity to pain. Catalepsy is considered a symptom of serious diseases of the nervous system (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Epilepsy, etc.) rather than a disease by itself. Cataleptic fits can range in duration from several minutes to weeks. Catalepsy often responds to Benzodiazepines (e.g., Lorazepam) in pill & I.V. form.
Epilepsy is an unpredictable, serious, and potentially fatal disorder of the nervous system, thought to be the result of faulty electrical activity in the brain. Epileptic seizures result from abnormal, excessive, or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain. About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly 80% of epilepsy occurs in developing countries. Epilepsy becomes more common as people age. Onset of new cases occurs most frequently in infants and the elderly. Epileptic seizures may occur in recovering patients as a consequence of brain surgery.
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. It is usually caused by a foreign substance or a viral infection. Symptoms of this disease include headache, neck pain, drowsiness, nausea, and fever. If caused by the West Nile virus, it may be lethal to humans, as well as birds and horses.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges (membranes) of the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck are all symptoms of meningitis.
A chronic, often debilitating neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches, often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms.
Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells that may develop on the brain or spinal cord. They are a congenital disorder, and in some cases may not show symptoms. However, if there is a large cyst, symptoms may include headache, seizures, ataxia (lack of muscle control), hemiparesis, and several others. Macrocephaly and ADHD are common among children, while presenile dementia, hydrocephalus (an abnormality of the dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid), and urinary incontinence are symptoms for elderly patients (65 and older).
Huntington's disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that is inherited. Degeneration of neuronal cells occurs throughout the brain, especially in the striatum. There is a progressive decline that results in abnormal movements. Statistics show that Huntington’s disease may affect 10 per 100,000 people of Western European descent.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease typically found in people over the age of 65 years. Worldwide, approximately 24 million people have dementia; 60% of these cases are due to Alzheimer’s. The ultimate cause is unknown. The clinical sign of Alzheimer’s is progressive cognition deterioration.
Main article: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD (often highly debated & controversial) is now largely considered to be a genuine organic disorder of the nervous system, according to the United States government. ADHD, which in severe cases can be debilitating, has symptoms thought to be caused by structural as well as biochemical imbalances in the brain; in particular, low levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for controlling and maintaining attention and movement. Many people with ADHD continue to have symptoms well into adulthood. Additionally, ADHD-like symptoms in childhood have also been associated with a very famous case of young-onset Parkinson's disease. In his 2002 autobiography, Hollywood star-turned-PD activist Michael J. Fox describes a childhood filled with hyperactive behaviors & discipline problems as well as a doctor's advice that he go on some form of ADHD drug therapy, as far back as the early 1960s (likely the drug Ritalin, which coincidentally is sometimes used as a treatment for Parkinson's disease). Also of note is an increased risk of the development of Dementia with Lewy bodies, or (DLB), a progressive, and often fatal, neurological disease with symptoms similar to both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, which often occurs in people over age 65.
Parkinson’s disease, or PD, is a progressive illness of the nervous system. Caused by the death of dopamine-producing brain cells that affect motor skills and speech. Symptoms may include bradykinesia (slow physical movement), muscle rigidity, and tremors. Behavior, thinking, sensation disorders, and the sometimes co-morbid skin condition Seborrheic dermatitis are just some of PD's numerous nonmotor symptoms. Interestingly, Parkinson's disease & Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appear to have some connection to one another, as both nervous system disorders involve lower than normal levels of the brain chemical dopamine in different areas of the brain: the Substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease & the Frontal lobe in ADHD.
Tourette's syndrome is an inherited neurological disorder. Early onset may be during childhood, and it is characterized by physical and verbal tics. The exact cause of Tourette's, other than genetic factors, is unknown.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory demyelinating disease, meaning that the myelin sheath of neurons is damaged. Symptoms of MS include visual and sensation problems, muscle weakness, and depression.
Any type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or injury done to the spinal cord can result in a wide spectrum of disabilities in a person. Depending on the section of the brain or spinal cord that suffers the trauma, the outcome may be anticipated.
Infectious diseases are transmitted in several ways. Some of these infections may affect the brain or spinal cord directly. Generally, an infection is a disease that is caused by the invasion of a microorganism or virus.
Degenerative spinal disorders involve a loss of function in the spine. Pressure on the spinal cord and nerves may be associated with herniation or disc displacement. Brain degeneration also causes central nervous system diseases. Studies have shown that obese people may have severe degeneration in the brain due to loss of tissue affecting cognition.
Common structural defects include birth defects, anencephaly, hypospadias, and spina bifida. Children born with structural defects may have malformed limbs, heart problems, and facial abnormalities.
A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. In the beginning, tumors can be noncancerous, but if they become malignant, they are cancerous. In general, they appear when there is a problem with cellular division. Problems with the body’s immune system can lead to tumors.
An autoimmune disorder is a condition wherein the immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. This is caused by a loss of tolerance to proteins in the body, resulting in immune cells recognising these as 'foreign' and directing an immune response against them.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to the brain. Approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke. This is can happen when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot or when a blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak to the brain. If the brain cannot get enough oxygen and blood, brain cells can die, leading to permanent damage.
Every disease has different signs and symptoms. Some of them are persistent headache; pain in the face, back, arms, or legs; an inability to concentrate; loss of feeling; memory loss; loss of muscle strength; tremors; seizures; muscle fasciculations (also known as twitching); tics; paralysis; and slurred speech. One should seek medical attention if affected by these.
There is a wide range of treatments for central nervous system diseases. These can range from surgery to rehabilitation or prescribed medications.