Neurological disorders affect the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves throughout the body. Neurological disorders often share the same symptoms, including loss of coordination and memory. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person and from disease to disease. Causes of neurological disorders are very hard to determine, although some occur during or after birth or for biochemical reasons. Here’s a list of common neurological disorders, their symptoms and possible causes.
· Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that gets worse over time. The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is dementia, or loss of memory. Alzheimer’s usually sets in when a person is middle-aged or elderly. Doctors are unsure of the causes.
· Bell’s Palsy is a disorder that affects the nerves in the face. The face is temporarily paralyzed due to viral infection or trauma. Some babies are born with Bell’s Palsy after doctors incorrectly or aggressively use forceps or other extraction instruments. Usually, the symptoms will go away after two weeks.
· Cerebral Palsy is a generic term for a variety of neurological diseases that occur during childbirth or develop during early childhood. Causes of these diseases are generally hard to determine, although many specialists link the disorders to complications during childbirth and trauma that occurs in the early years of a child’s life. Symptoms vary from loss of muscle coordination and difficulty speaking to complete paralysis.
· Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (a.k.a. “Mad Cow Disease”) is a disease that is acquired by consuming infected cow meat or receiving a blood transfusion of infected blood. The disease is a fatal brain disorder that attacks more than 250 Americans each year. Symptoms of CJD vary dramatically from patient to patient, and they include dementia, loss of muscle control and depression. People diagnosed with the disease never live for more than one year.
· Strokes occur when a blood clot clogs an artery in the brain. Strokes are most common in people who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and people who are overweight.
· Tourette’s Syndrome is a genetic disease that affects between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the U.S. Symptoms are nervous tics that can be as severe as uncontrollable speech or violent muscle spasms.