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  Neurological disorder

The nervous system is considered to be the most complex organ system in the human body. It is responsible for controlling and directing the complex processes of the body’s internal environment and acts as the body’s link with the outside world. Neurological disorders are disorders affecting the two major divisions of the nervous system, namely the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system comprises the brain and the spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system (PNS) includes all the 31 pairs of peripheral nerves and 12 pairs of cranial nerves. The subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates much of the internal homeostasis is the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Neurologists also diagnose and treat conditions associated with the autonomic nervous system.

Neurological disorder
Neurological disorder


Neurologic disorders encompass areas that cover, among other things, hereditary and congenital pathologies, demyelinating and degenerative disorders, infections, and neoplasms. Major neurological conditions include the following: headache disorders such as migraine, cluster headache and tension headache (the most common) ; epilepsy and seizure disorders; neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease and ataxia; cerebrovascular diseases such as transient ischemic attacks (TIA) and cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) also known as strokes or brain attack which is either ischemic or hemorrhagic in nature; sleep disorders (insomnia); cerebral palsy (CP), a non-progressive disorder of voluntary and posture control; CNS infections such as encephalitis, meningitis and peripheral neuritis; brain abscess; herpetic meningoencephalitis, aspergilloma and cerebral hydatic cyst ; PNS infections , such as tetanus and botulism; neoplasms such as glioblastoma multiforme which is the most malignant brain tumor, spinal cord tumors, peripheral nerves tumor (acoustic neuroma); movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, chorea, hemiballismus, tic disorder, and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome; CNS demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis, and of the peripheral nervous system, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) ; spinal cord disorders e.g. tumors, infections, trauma, malformations such as myelocele, meningomyelocele, myelomeningocele; peripheral nerve disorders like Bell palsy (CN VII) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) involving the median nerve, myopathy and neuromuscular junctions problem (e.g. myasthenia gravis); traumatic injuries to the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves ; altered mental status, encephalopathy, stupor and coma ; lastly, any speech and language disorders (expressive or receptive aphasia).

A complete neurological examination entails the neurologist to first review the patient's medical history with special focus to the present condition prior to a neurological exam. Generally, the exam tests cranial nerves, level of consciousness, motor strength, coordination, deep tendon reflexes and sensation. Additional mental status examination may be needed to assess cognitive function in psychiatric, geriatric and even in a healthy aged patient to uncover early signs of dementia. Findings of the neurologic exam help the neurologist determine if the problem is indeed in the nervous system. Further tests like the lumbar puncture also known as spinal tap may be needed to confirm a diagnosis or find a specific treatment.

Neurologic cases with depressed level of consciousness or alertness can result from a wide variety of causes, some intracranial (trauma, hemorrhage, infection, neoplasm, vascular obstruction, increased intracranial pressure) and some systemic (anoxia, hypercapnia, shock, drugs, chemical poisons, electrolyte imbalance, hepatic or renal failure). Various grades of impaired consciousness may be distinguished as clouding or blunting of sensorium, drowsiness or somnolence, stupor, semicoma, and deep coma. Coma demands vigorous diagnostic efforts by means of obtaining a thorough history and physical examination with emphasis on neurologic findings, fundoscopic examination, blood and urine studies, lumbar puncture, EEG, and head imaging. A widely used measure of level of consciousness is the Glasgow Coma Scale. Treatment of coma includes attention to airway, respiratory function, and circulation, and vigorous efforts to reverse or eliminate identifiable causes.

When surgical intervention is required, the neurologist may refer the patient to a neurosurgeon, an interventional neuroradiologist, or a neurointerventionalist. A neurosurgeon usually manages initially patients with acute head trauma cases but may refer them to neuorologists and rehabilitation medicine for co-management. Headache disorders can be treated by general practitioners or family medicine specialists.

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Diazepam, one of a group of drugs known as Benzodiazepines, is a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant. Diazepam is used as an Amnestic, an Anitanxiety Agent, Anticonvulsant, an Antipanic and Antitremor Agent, a Sedative, and Muscle Relaxant. It is used more...

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Clonazepam, known also as Klonopin, is one of a group of drugs known as Benzodiazepines that are Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants. Clonazepam is used to relieve anxiety, and to treat panic disorder. Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies more...

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Valium, may also be called Diazepam, and is one of the Benzodiazepine group of medicines. These are Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants and are used to relieve anxiety. Valium is also used to help relax muscles or relieve muscle spasm. Valium injecti more...

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Neurontin, also known as Gabapentin, is used to help control some types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also used to manage pain that occurs after shingles, a condition known as Postherpetic Neuralgia. Be sure to tell your doctor of any more...

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Also known as Methylphenidate, Concerta belongs to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy by increasing attention and decreasing restlessne more...

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Gabapentin, also known as Neurontin is used to help control some types of seizures in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also used to manage pain that occurs after shingles, a condition known as Postherpetic Neuralgia. Be sure to tell your doctor of any more...

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