In human beings the nervous system is the most sophisticated and complex system. It is made up of two main systems: The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerves and autonomic nerves). The nervous system regulates and coordinates all the functions and activities of the body. The principal organs of the nervous system in addition to brain and spinal cord are eyes, ears, and all sensory organs of smell, taste and touch. The sensory receptors are present in the skin, muscles, joints and other parts of the body.
What are the disorders of the nervous system?
Infections, injuries, trauma, tumours, autoimmune disorders, degeneration, disruption of blood flow, structural defects can damage the nervous system and therefore it is vulnerable to various disorders.
There are various degenerative, structural, functional, and vascular disorders of the central nervous system. Headache, neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, epilepsy, dizziness, etc are the functional disorders of the nervous system. The structural disorders of the central nervous system include brain and spinal cord tumours, peripheral neuropathy, injuries to the brain and spinal cord, cervical spondylosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Bell’s palsy, carpel tunnel syndrome. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington chorea are the degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Brain haemorrhage, hematoma, transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke are the vascular disorders, whereas polio, epidural abscess, meningitis and encephalitis are infections.
What are the signs and symptoms of nervous system disorders?
The following are the most common general signs and symptoms of a nervous system disorder. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Though the symptoms of neurological disorders may vary from individual to individual, yet there are some very common signs and symptoms of neurological disorders – they include lack of coordination and balance, muscular weakness or loss of muscle strength, headache – sudden or persistent, loss of sensation, weakness in hands and legs, tingling sensation in fingers, lack of concentration, memory impairment, seizures, muscular rigidity, difficulty walking, vision problems, double vision, tremors, speech problems, back pain, and so on.
Anyone suffering from a neurological disorder should always consult a specialist or neurologist to rule out the possibilities of any other type of disease or disorder as the signs and symptoms of a neurological disorder may resemble the symptoms of other health conditions.
Healthcare providers who treat nervous system disorders
Physicians who treat patients suffering from neurological disorders examine them by knowing their medical history and by performing initial neurological examination. They spend considerable amount of time with the patient to make the diagnosis. When they suspect any abnormality or disorder, they order a series of tests to rule out other conditions and to reach to specific diagnosis.
The specialists who provide care and treat nervous system disorders are called neurologists. Neurology, interventional neurology and neurosurgery are the branches of medicine that deal with all types of disorders of the nervous system. Neurosurgeons treat the disorders by operating on the patient.
The patient with some types of neurological disorders may require rehabilitative care. The specialists who work with the patients in the rehabilitation process are called as physiotherapist.