Nerves are like a network through which your brain communicates with the rest of the body. Neurology is the study of the systems of these nerves, which connect the brain with the spinal cord and with all the peripheral areas of the body – from the fingertips to the toes. A neurological disorder means that network of communication in the body is disrupted in some way. Every system and action – from walking to sleeping – depend on our nervous system being healthy and functional. There are more than 600 currently recognized neurological disorders; these are five of the most common.
A stroke occurs when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain is interrupted by a partial or complete blockage of the arteries that feed it. Brain cells suffer damage from this lack of oxygen, which can result in the inability to walk and balance and speak; as well as difficulty thinking and remembering past events. A neurologist helps by diagnosing the event and assessing the damage to the brain and severity of its effects. Treatment for a stroke can range from physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive exercises that may restore memory and others. Depending on the severity of the stroke and how quickly care is received, many people do recover completely after suffering a stroke
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, language, and cognition. It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-70% of cases. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are drugs that can slow the progression of some symptoms. Extensive research continues as scientists work to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s, which could happen within the next 10-20 years as research advances.
Severe, debilitating headaches that can last for two or more days may be migraines. Migraines can be accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and nausea. The cause of migraine headaches is unknown, but stress, hormones, anxiety and shock have been known to trigger migraines. Women are much more likely to suffer from them than men, especially during their menstrual cycle. Medication that can prevent migraines is one of the most effective treatments today.
Spinal Cord Disorders
Injury to the spinal cord or conditions present from birth can affect the movement and functions of the body below the point where it is healthy. The most common include cervical myelopathy (compression of the spinal cord in the neck; lumbar myelopathy, which affects the spinal cord in the lower spine; and thoracic myelopathy, which affects the spinal cord in the middle (thoracic) spine. A neurologist can determine the location and cause of a spinal cord disorder and may be able to treat it through intervention or surgery.
People with epilepsy suffer seizures that result from abnormal brain activity. Seizures sometimes involve involuntary muscle contractions but may also be characterized by feelings of confusion or periods of blanking out. People with epilepsy can lead normal lives with no relapse in some cases. There are several effective medications that reduce or prevent seizures.
Your Neurological Experts in Lone Tree, Colorado Springs, and Aurora
Neurologists are doctors with advanced training in the nervous system and possible injuries and conditions that affect the nerves. Many neurological disorders can be treated successfully when properly diagnosed. Early detection may improve treatment outcomes. If you have symptoms of a neurological disorder, you should see a neurologist right away.
Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery has served patients with advanced microsurgical treatments for a wide variety of neurological conditions for over 15 years. They are experts in both surgical and non-surgical treatment of intracranial and spinal disorders. Our board-certified neurologists practice comprehensive, patient-centered care designed to help you achieve the best possible outcomes. At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we are dedicated to making a difference in the world and your life. Call (303) 790-1800 to request an appointment today.