A neurological condition involves the brain of course and the spinal cord, but it also encompasses disorders involving the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord.
Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from neurological disorders. That’s one in five people who have damage or injury to their nervous systems. A simple definition of a neurological condition is a disorder that occurs due to damage to the nerves, brain or spinal column. Such occurrences may be a result of a traumatic injury or illness.
A few of the more common neurological disorders are muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, vascular dementia, and ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Trauma of the head and spinal cord, epilepsy, brain tumors, and dementia can also be categorized as neurological conditions. In fact, there are in excess of 600 diseases that are associated with the nervous system.
Neurological Conditions Signs and Symptoms
The effects of having a neurological condition can be life-altering, resulting in disabilities, pain, discomfort, limited activities. Some can be life-threatening.
A neurological condition can affect anyone at any time. It’s not a respecter of age, sex or nationality. It can occur quickly, overnight or with a progression of function loss over time. There are signs and symptoms associated with neurological conditions, and it’s not uncommon for a person affected by a neurological disorder to experience signs that are both emotional and physical. Mood swings and depression are often signs/symptoms, however, it’s important to note that signs and symptoms vary by the type of neurological condition a person has. Additionally, persons with depression may have a more difficult time recovering from disorders. Medication and therapy may be combined as an effective treatment option.
Here are some symptoms that may suggest you have a neurological disorder:
- The patient may experience partial or total memory loss with the onset of a neurological condition. Memory may or may not return. In severe cases, it will not.
- Trouble Communicating. Difficulty understanding directions or following simple conversations is a sign that something may be wrong neurologically. Reasoning may be difficult if not impossible and conversations may become cyclic in nature.
- Ataxia is the loss of motor function, during which a feeling of weakness or decreased sensation ensues. The affected person may experience muscle tremors or rigidity, as well as lose balance and experience partial or total paralysis.
Diagnosing a Neurological Condition
Your health care professional will order a variety of tests to diagnose a neurological condition. Genetic screening, brain scans, an extensive neurological exam that also includes an MRI, CAT scan and other diagnostic imaging tests may be included.
There are neurological disorders that aren’t treatable, as some illnesses result in permanent damage. However, there are neurological conditions that can be managed with the support of a neurological specialist.
If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms associated with a neurological condition, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. Do not ignore the signs and symptoms. Ignoring signs could lead to the condition worsening.
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we believe that an informed patient is the best patient. We practice comprehensive, patient-centered care designed to help you achieve the best possible outcomes. Our mission is to provide exceptional care for all of our patients. At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery we are dedicated to making a difference in your life. Call (303) 790-1800 phone or use our online form to request an appointment today.