A neurological disorder is any disorder of the body nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness. There are many recognized neurological disorders, some relatively common, but many rare. They may be assessed by neurological examination, and studied and treated within the specialties of neurology.
Interventions for neurological disorders include treatment, preventative measures, lifestyle changes, physiotherapy or other therapy, neurorehabilitation, pain management, medication, or operations performed by neurosurgeons.
Although the brain and spinal cord are surrounded by tough membranes, enclosed in the bones of the skull and spinal vertebrae, and chemically isolated by the so-called blood–brain barrier, they are very susceptible if compromised. Nerves tend to lie deep under the skin but can still become exposed to damage. Individual neurons, and the neural networks and nerves into which they form, are susceptible to electrochemical and structural disruption. Neuroregeneration may occur in the peripheral nervous system and thus overcome or work around injuries to some extent, it is thought to be rare in the brain and spinal cord.
The specific causes of neurological problems vary, but can include genetic disorders, congenital abnormalities or disorders, infections, lifestyle or environmental health problems including malnutrition, and brain injury, spinal cord injury or nerve injury. The problem may start in another body system that interacts with the nervous system. For example, cerebrovascular disorders involve brain injury due to problems with the blood vessels (cardiovascular system) supplying the brain; autoimmune disorders involve damage caused by the body's own immune system; lysosomal storage diseases such as Niemann-Pick disease can lead to neurological deterioration.
Anatomy of the human brain.
Neurological disorders can be categorized according to the primary location affected, the primary type of dysfunction involved, or the primary type of cause. The broadest division is between central nervous system disorders and peripheral nervous system disorders.
The Human Nervous System
Brain damage according to cerebral lobe (see also 'lower' brain areas such as basal ganglia, cerebellum, brainstem):
Frontal lobe damage
Parietal lobe damage
Temporal lobe damage
Occipital lobe damage
Brain dysfunction according to type:
Apraxia (patterns or sequences of movements)
Agnosia (identifying things or people)
Spinal cord disorders (see spinal pathology, injury, inflammation)
Peripheral neuropathy and other Peripheral nervous system disorders
Cranial nerve disorder such as Trigeminal neuralgia
Autonomic nervous system disorders such as dysautonomia, Multiple System Atrophy
Seizure disorders such as epilepsy
Movement disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system such as Parkinson's disease, Essential tremor, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Tourette's Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and various types of Peripheral Neuropathy
Sleep disorders such as Narcolepsy
Migraines and other types of Headache such as Cluster Headache and Tension Headache
Lower back and neck pain (see Back pain)
Central Neuropathy (see Neuropathic pain)
Neuropsychiatric illnesses (diseases and/or disorders with psychiatric features associated with known nervous system injury, underdevelopment, biochemical, anatomical, or electrical malfunction, and/or disease pathology e.g. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Autism, Tourette's Syndrome and some cases of Obsessive compulsive disorder as well as the neurobehavioral associated symptoms of degenerative of the nervous system such as Parkinson's disease, Essential tremor, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Multiple sclerosis and organic psychosis.)
Many of the diseases and disorders listed above have neurosurgical treatments available (e.g. Tourette's Syndrome, Parkinson's disease, Essential tremor and Obsessive compulsive disorder).
Delirium and dementia such as Alzheimer's disease
Dizziness and vertigo
Stupor and coma
Stroke (CVA, cerebrovascular attack)
Tumors of the nervous system (e.g. cancer)
Multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases
Infections of the brain or spinal cord (including meningitis)
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