Understanding Some Common Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders are chronic disorders and it severely impairs the quality of life of an individual. Neurological disorders are basically the disorders of the brain, spine, and nerves that connect them. According to the researchers, millions of people throughout the world are diagnosed with neurological disorders each year. There are a large number of neurological disease and some of the common neurological disorders are as follows:
1. Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorder that develops due to decreased production of the chemicals in the brain. Basically, Parkinson's disease occurs when there is a loss of brain cells that make and store dopamine. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by movement-related symptoms and it is associated with a wide range of symptoms. Some of the movement disorders that occur in patients having Parkinson's disease include rigidity, tremors, loss of balance and frequent falls. Sometimes, in addition to movement-related symptoms, patients having this disease also experience other symptoms that are related to sleep and personality changes such as sleep disorders, irritability, depression, and anxiety.
There are various factors that play a role in the development of this disease and some of them include, advancing age, head injury, family history and exposure to chemicals. Also, according to the studies, males are more likely to suffer from this disorder as compared to females.
2. Huntington's disease
Huntington’s disease is defined as an inherited and progressive brain disease and it is characterized by three groups of symptoms - movement disorders, behavioral disorders, and cognitive disorders. This disease causes the neurons, the nerve cells to deteriorate. The parts of the brain that are affected by this disease are the outer layer of the brain, which is known as the cortex and it also includes the deeper areas of the brain which is known as basal ganglia.
Uncontrolled movements of the arm, legs, head, face and upper body are said to be the hallmark symptoms of this disease. Also, Huntington's disease is characterized by the changes in the brain and causes a decline in the thinking ability, reasoning skills, problems with concentration and it also causes changes in the mood such as anxiety and depression. Huntington’s disease causes the progressive breakdown of the nerve cells in the brain and it severely impairs the quality of life of an individual as it deteriorates the person’s physical and mental abilities. It affects all aspects of a person’s life. Huntington’s disease affects people of all gender equally.
Dystonia is one of the common movement disorder which is characterized by the abnormal posture of the affected body part. The symptoms of dystonia can vary from one person to another as dystonia can affect the body in several patterns such as:
- Focal dystonia - In this type of dystonia, one one body part is affected such as the face.
- Segmental dystonia - More than one connected body part is affected such as the face and the neck.
- Multifocal dystonia - More than one non-connected body part is affected such as the face and the arms.
- Generalized dystonia - The trunk along with at least two other body parts are affected.
- Hemidystonia - Muscles of only one side of the body are affected.
Dystonia can be inherited, acquired or idiopathic. Inherited dystonia means that it due to genetics. Acquired dystonia is associated with several specific life events such as birth injury, brain injury, infection and exposure to drugs. Dystonia can also be idiopathic. This means that there is no identifiable cause of it, dystonia can occur with or without any family history of it. Some of the common symptoms of dystonia can include cramping of the food, uncontrollable blinking, problems with speech and involuntary pulling of the neck.
4. Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is a disorder which causes weakness to the muscles. Usually, the muscles that control consciously are affected such as muscles that control eyelids, eye movement, breathing, and swallowing. A patient having this disease are recommended to rest as this disease worsens with activity and improves with rest. Normally, the cells of the muscles respond to the nerve impulses that signal them to contract, this causes the weakness in muscles.
The symptoms of this disease vary from one person to another as it depends on the muscle that is affected. For some people problems with eye movements can occur, whereas for other people problems with swallowing can occur. When the problem with getting into nerve impulses occur, it results in myasthenia gravis. Normally, the impulses travel down the nerve ending and release a protein known as acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is important to tell the muscle to do its job. Also, there are some antibodies that are produced by the body in response to harmful substances. But, the body of the patients having myasthenia gravis mistakenly to be acetylcholine and cause it to be destroyed. This causes muscle weakness.
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