Central nervous system disease

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Central Nervous System Disease
Classification and external resources
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Central Nervous System Disease
Classification and external resources

A central nervous system disease can affect either the spinal cord (myelopathy) or brain (encephalopathy), both of which are part of the central nervous system.[1]


Spinal cord[edit]

The spinal cord transmits sensory reception from the peripheral nervous system.[2] 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.

Types of disease[edit]


Main article:Catalepsy

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.[3]


Main article:Epilepsy

Epilepsy is an unpredictable, serious and potentially fatal disorder of the nervous system. Thought to be the result of faulty electrical activity in 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.[4]


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,[5] 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.

Tropical spastic paraparesis[edit]

Troby a virus that can also cause leukemia, a disease of the bone marrow.

Arachnoid cysts[edit]

Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells that may develop on the brain or spinal cord.[6] 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 pre-senile 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 which results in abnormal movements.[7] 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.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD)[edit]

Main article: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ADHD (often highly debated & controversial) is now largely considered to be a genuine,[8] organic disorder of the nervous system according to the United States government.[9][10][11] ADHD, which in severe cases can be debilitating,[12] has symptoms thought to be caused by structural as well as biochemical imbalances in the brain.[13] In particular, low levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norephinprine,[14] which are responsible for controlling and maintaining attention and movement. Many people with ADHD continue to have symptoms well into adulthood.[15] In addition, Adult ADHD has (as of 2011[16][17]) been associated with an increased risk of the development of Dementia with Lewy bodies, or (DLB),[18] 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.[15][19]

Locked-in syndrome[edit]

Locked-in syndrome is due to a lesion on the brain stem, damaging the pons. It is a condition where the patient is awake, but suffers from paralysis[20] of all or nearly all voluntary muscles of the body and cannot communicate or move. Causes of locked-in syndrome may be: traumatic brain injury, circulatory system disease, nerve cell damage, and overdose of medication.


Parkinson’s disease or(PD) is a progressive illness of the nervous system. Caused by the death of dopamine producing brain cells which, affects the 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 non-motor symptoms.


Tourette's syndrome is an inherited neurological disorder. Early onset may be during childhood, and is characterized by physical tics and verbal tics. The exact cause of Tourette's, other than genetic factors, is unknown.

Multiple sclerosis[edit]

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 micro-organism 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.

Structural defects[edit]

Common structural defects include: birth defects,[21] 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 beginning, tumors can be non-cancerous, but if they are 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.

Autoimmune disorders[edit]

An autoimmune disorder is a condition where the immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. This is caused by harmful substances, called antigens.


A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to the brain. Approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke.[22] 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.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Every disease has different signs and symptoms. Some include: persistent headache; pain in the face, back, arms, or legs; 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nervous System Diseases". Healthinsite.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Organization of the Nervous System". Users.rcn.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  3. ^ http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-catalepsy.htm
  4. ^ "How Serious Are Seizures?". Epilepsy.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  5. ^ "West Nile Virus". Medicinenet.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  6. ^ "How the Brain Works". Arachnoidcyst.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  7. ^ "Huntington's Disease". Hdsa.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  8. ^ "Brain Studies Show ADHD Is Real Disease - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  9. ^ "ADHD Study: General Information". Genome.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  10. ^ "MNT - ADHD Is A Genetic Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Scientists Reveal". Medicalnewstoday.com. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  11. ^ "Social Security Disability Ssi And Adhd, Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder". Ssdrc.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  12. ^ "112.00-MentalDisorders-Childhood". Ssa.gov. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Discovery Health "Causes of ADHD and the ADHD Brain"". Health.howstuffworks.com. 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  14. ^ "What Is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What You Need to Know". Webmd.com. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  15. ^ a b "Adult ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)". MayoClinic.com. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  16. ^ USA (2013-03-25). "Previous adult attention-deficit and hyperactiv... [Eur J Neurol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  17. ^ "Adult ADHD Often Precedes Certain Type of Dementia: Study - Health News and Views - Health.com". News.health.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  18. ^ "Adult ADHD significantly increases risk of common form of dementia, study finds". Sciencedaily.com. 2011-02-06. doi:10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03064.x. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  19. ^ "Dementia With Lewy Bodies Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)". Ninds.nih.gov. 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  20. ^ "Locked-In Syndrome". Ninds.nih.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  21. ^ "Birth Defects". Kidshealth.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  22. ^ "Stroke". Hearthealthywomen.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 

External links[edit]