What are neurological disorders? They are problems/complications that happen to part or all of your nervous system.
You may also be wondering, what are the most common examples of these disorders? And what are the greatest risk factors that cause them?
How are neurological disorders treated? What symptoms should you watch out for? Are there ways to prevent them or to slow their progression?
For the answers to these questions, keep reading. What follows is a complete guide on common neurological conditions that will help you prevent and/or prepare for them. To protect your brain function and achieve optimal health, read this guide and follow these tips.
1. Severe Headaches
We all get mild-to-medium-level headaches once in a while. Most often, these are caused by other common conditions, including dehydration, lack of sleep, or the flu.
However, severe headaches can be a symptom of more serious neurological disorders, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Inflammed blood vessels near your scalp (temporal arteritis)
- An infection
As such, you should definitely call your doctor about a powerful headache that’s accompanied by a fever. Also, check with your doctor if you get headaches very frequently and/or your headaches last for several days.
For one thing, your condition might be treatable with medication, neuro feedback therapy, or other means. And, regardless, you need to make sure your condition isn’t life-threatening.
Of all the disorders on our list, strokes require the most immediate attention. From the onset of a stroke until you receive treatment, your brain cells begin dying rapidly. These cells and the brain functions liked to them, will be permanently lost.
Thus, if you notice any symptoms of a stroke, you should call 911 immediately. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty speaking/slurred speech
- Confusion/difficulty understanding
- A severe headache
- Blurry vision
- Loss of balance
- Numbness/weakness/loss of muscle control on one side of your body
A stroke can kill you within days. Fortunately, though, immediate treatment can save your life and prevent permanent loss of function.
What’s more is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a stroke. As with most health problems, this has mostly to do with proper diet and exercise. Keep your mind and body healthy by getting 30 minutes of exercise and plenty of fruits and vegetables every day.
A seizure, characterized by the uncontrollable shaking/flailing of your extremities, is sometimes an isolated incident. For instance, it may be a result of:
- A high fever
- Sodium deficiency
- Lack of sleep
- A significant head injury
- Withdrawal after heavy/prolonged alcohol use
- A side effect from various types of medication
On the other hand, seizures are a common/recurring symptom of certain chronic conditions like epilepsy. Thus, if you experience seizures more than once, contact your doctor.
Furthermore, seizures are commonly accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Anxiety and other emotional symptoms
- A feeling like deja vu
- Loss of awareness
- Total loss of consciousness
Even if the seizure is an isolated incident, it’s important that you get examined by a doctor to determine the cause.
4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. To this day, we’re unsure why this condition develops. But what we do know is that it hinders the function of certain nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.
ALS has symptoms that are similar to seizures and strokes. This includes:
- Muscle weakness
- Random muscle twitching
- Stiff/tight muscles
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing
ALS worsens more quickly the longer it goes untreated. But the onset of symptoms is still very gradual. And it may seem as if the symptoms are unrelated.
Therefore, it’s difficult for many people to realize the need to see a doctor until they’ve had ALS for a year or more. In any case, if you experience these symptoms at all, see your doctor right away.
5. Parkinson’s Disease
Many people develop Parkinson’s disease as they age and it usually starts at around age 60. It is a progressive nervous system disorder that mainly affects your ability to control your body.
The first symptom, often occurring years before the other symptoms, is constipation. Other common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Muscle stiffness, especially during certain body movements
- Stiffness in facial muscles/lack of facial expresson
- Difficulty speaking
- Slurred speech
- Other speech changes
- A reduced sense of smell
- Tremors, especially in the hands/arms, that get progressively worse
This disease is not curable, only treatable. And the treatment can slow the progression of symptoms. So don’t delay in seeing your doctor about these symptoms, especially if you’re close to or over 60.
Lastly, dementia is extremely common during old age. The most common example is Alzheimer’s disease, though there are many other forms of dementia as well.
Dementia is caused by the degradation of brain tissue. It’s characterized by the progressive worsening/loss of memory and other cognitive functions. When someone you know is developing dementia, you’ll notice:
- Changes in their behavior and emotions
- Periods of confusion
- They forget what they’re doing in the middle of a task
- They forget to do certain things throughout the day
- They forget conversations they previously had with you
- They forget data/information like names and addresses
A slight amount of memory loss is inevitable with age and doesn’t necessarily indicate the onset of dementia. But if you or your loved one have symptoms like those above, seek help right away.
Furthermore, there are cognitive training exercises and other treatments that can help prevent dementia before it starts. Those who read a lot are also less likely to develop dementia.
Get Help Right Away For These Neurological Disorders
If you suspect that you have one or more of these neurological disorders, don’t wait to get help. See a doctor as soon as possible for the symptoms listed above.
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