The 15 most common neurological disorders

Understand, feel, perceive, reason, plan, deduce, relate… All these processes are carried out and / or mediated by the brain.

This body organizes and supervises all the functions of the human body. However, the health of this organ is not always optimal, and accidents or illnesses can occur and affect its proper functioning. This causes a number of serious effects on the body as a whole, which can lead to death. This is the case with neurological disorders.

What are neurological diseases?

Neurological disorders are pathologies located anywhere in the nervous system, Whether in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves and nerve extensions, affecting their proper functioning. The symptoms of these disorders can be very varied and can produce both a deficit and an excess of neuronal activity in any system of the body. The causes depend on the disorder and may even be still unknown today.

Among the best known is the group of dementias, but these are not the only groups of neurological disorders. Conditions such as epilepsy, tumors or other disorders are also among the most common neurological disorders.

The most common neurological disorders

These are the fifteen most common neurological disorders.

1. Strokes

While this is not a single disorder as it encompasses a set of possible issues, cardiovascular accidents are currently one of the three leading causes of death in the world. These accidents can have a very different cause, course and effects depending on the affected area.

They can basically be classified as cerebral hemorrhage, which is the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain which causes flooding in the brain which kills surrounding neurons by compression, and ischemia or a stroke produced. by stopping the blood supply. part of the brain, usually due to a thrombus or access that prevents watering in the area.

In all cases, it causes neuronal death which will have serious effects on the functions and areas of the person, Which can lead to death, vascular dementia, disorders acquired from head trauma or even temporary loss of certain functions with complete recovery in the event of a transient stroke.

2. Alzheimer’s disease

The most well-known dementia is also one of the most common neurological disorders in the population. This disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, is an insidious, progressive dementia that begins with recent memory loss and anomy. (Difficulty finding the names of things). This disorder evolves in three phases, causing a progressive deterioration of all intellectual functions and autonomy.

Thus, as the disorder progresses, difficulties appear in the second phase in speech, praxis or sequenced movements and in the recognition of people and objects (this set of symptoms being the so-called aphasic syndrome – apraxo-agnostic) and with time in the third phase these conditions worsen, culminating with the encamamiento and the mutism of the patient. Although a specific cause is not yet known, at the neurological level, the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and betaamyloid plaques has been observed, Especially in the temporal and parietal lobes.

3. Parkinson’s disease

This disease is also one of the most common neurological disorders. At the neurological level, the existence of a degeneration of the nigroestriado system has been observed, which leads to a deficiency of the neurotransmitters dopamine and GABA in this system. The best known and most characteristic symptom of this disorder is Parkinson’s disease or resting tremors, which they are manifested by spasmodic twitching of the distal limbs (Especially the hands) which occur at rest. In addition to these other important symptoms of this disease, we find the presence of a strong demotivation, difficulty in walking, a lack of blinking of the eyes and facial expression and poor mobility.

Over the years, it is possible for subcortical dementia to develop, although it does not occur in all cases. In this case, mental and physical slowness, failure of memory retrieval and the presence of difficulties in executive and visuospatial tasks stand out.

4. Tension headache

Headaches are one of the most common nervous system disorders in the world.. Within the headache group, among which there are subtypes such as tension headaches and grape headaches, migraines and tension headaches particularly stand out.

As for the tension headache, its onset is usually related to stress or muscle problems.

There are two basic headache subtypes, episodic and chronic. The first appears in short-lived seizures, being the most common type of headache. The second causes much greater disability by persisting for a much longer period. The pain is mild or moderate.

5. Migraine

Migraine, mainly of genetic origin, is caused by the release of inflammatory substances around the nerves and the blood vessels of the head. It is usually a recurring condition throughout life. They emphasize moderate or severe headaches, nausea, and intolerance to light and sound, worsening the pain with activity.

5. Epilepsy

Brain disorder that occurs when brain cells send the wrong signals. In this disorder are the crises of grand mal and those of petit mal. The first are the best known, characterized by the presence of a loss of consciousness followed by convulsions, incontinence, biting of the tongue and hallucinations. In the latter, there are no convulsions, characterized by mental absence.

Usually, seizures are preceded by an aura, initial sensations that the affected person can detect such as a previous tingling, hallucinations, or clouding (confusion). The etiology of this disorder can be very diverse and may be due, among other things, to the presence of brain tumors, cranioencephalic trauma, atypical development of the nervous system or other alterations and diseases.

6. Multiple sclerosis

Chronic progressive disorder of the central nervous system caused by insufficient production of myelin in white matter neurons. Progressive demyelination of neurons occurs. Although there are several possible evolutions of this disease, in general, multiple sclerosis evolves in a fluctuating way, that is to say in the form of epidemics which disappear and improve, with progressive worsening.

While the specific symptoms of each moment will depend on the affected areas which are frequent symptoms, visual and sensory alterations, motor weakness, pain and fatigue, perceived muscle spasticity or tension, and hemiparesis, among others. Although he’s not being careful so far, some promising drugs are being tested.

7. Brain tumors

Brain tumors are also among the most common neurological disorders. They are caused by the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of certain types of brain material and can appear in neurons, glia, or meninges. While there is a broad classification of brain tumors based on the type of cell that produces them and their behavior, they are all very dangerous to the patient’s life, even benign behavioral tumors.

This is because the gradual growth of matter causes the rest of the brain to press hard against the skull, displacing structures, deforming and crushing. The specific symptoms depend, as in the case of stroke, on the location of the tumor and the areas it affects directly or indirectly.

8. Muscular dystrophy by Duschene

It is the most common muscular dystrophy in men, especially in men. The main symptom of this neuromuscular disorder, usually childhood, is generalized muscle weakness that develops gradually and chronically. Over time, this leads to difficulty walking and even breathing, and death in young adults is common due to problems such as heart failure.

9. Meningitis

Bacterial or viral infection that affects the meninges or membranes that protect the nervous system, Producing inflammation of these and affecting the nervous system as a whole. Febrile symptoms, nausea, photophobia, severe headache, altered consciousness or mental status are common. Although immediate intervention is necessary, it is a medical condition that can be reversed, although its consequences may remain chronic.

10. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

This disease, popularized recently by the famous Ice Bucket Challenge campaign, is a progressive neurological disorder that attacks motor cells, degenerating into cell death.

In this disease, neurons stop sending messages to voluntary muscles, which eventually atrophy, preventing movement and speech. Over time, this affects the chest muscles and the diaphragm, requiring artificial respiration and respiratory arrest being a likely cause of death. The damage only affects the motor neurons, so cognitive abilities are preserved.

11. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a disorder often diagnosed in childhood and, however, very controversial. This is because the diagnostic criteria to identify it are very ambiguous, and it is believed to be often detected in boys and girls who do not actually present it; that is, false positives appear and it is over-mediated.

In fact, little is known about this neurological disorder other than that it causes the brain to function abnormally judging by what has been seen by neuroimaging methods and that this fits the descriptions of young people with serious problems. concentration even considering his age.

12. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

This concept brings together a set of symptoms related to problems understanding non-literal aspects of language, socialization and show prosocial behavior. Moreover, in more than half of the cases, these problems appear alongside the intellectual disability.

    13. Dyslexia

    Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities and consists of an abnormal functioning of the brain that makes the task of reading very difficult, i.e. extracting meanings and vocalizations from a series of symbols.

    14. Tourette syndrome

    People with this condition they are unable to control a series of repetitive movements similar to very elaborate tics. This affects both their social life and their quality of life in general, as it is an intrusive element that generates stress and prevents them from concentrating.

    15. Dyscalculia

    In the same way as dyslexia, this neurological disorder does not in itself pose a threat to health, But impaired ability to learn. In this case, what it costs is to do mathematical operations and to manipulate the numbers in general.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association (2002). DSM-IV-TR. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Spanish edition. Barcelona: Masson. (Original in English from 2000).

    • Banys, R. and Perpiña, C. (2002). Psychopathological examination. Madrid: Synthesis.

    • Belloch, A., Bains, R. and Perpiñá, C. (2008) Psychopathology of perception and imagination. In A. Belloch, B. Sandín and F. Ramos (Eds.) Handbook of Psychopathology (2nd edition). Vol I, Madrid: McGraw Hill Interamericana.

    • Bermejo, PE; Blasco, MR; Sánchez, AJ and García, A. (2011). Clinical manifestations, natural history, prognosis and complications of multiple sclerosis. Drug; 10 (75): 5079-86.

    • Ferrari, MD (1998). Migraine. Lancet, 351: 1043-1051.

    • Fisher, RS et al. (2005). Epileptic attacks and epilepsy. Definitions proposed by the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE). Epilepsy, 46: 470-472.

    • International Headache Society Headache Classification Subcommittee. The International Classification of Headache Disorders (2004), 2nd ed. Headache, 24 (suppl 1): 1–160. Lipton, RB et al. (2003). The familial impact of migraine: population-based studies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Headache, 23: 429-440.

    • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2002). “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”

    • World Health Organization (2006) Neurological Disorders. Public health challenges. WHO. 45-188.

    Leave a Comment