The nervous system is an intricate collection of nerves and specialized cells called Neurons. They convey signals among different parts of the human body. It is a body’s electrical wiring.
The nervous system operates-
• Vision, hearing, taste, smell, and feeling (sensation), i.e. the sensory organs.
• Voluntary and involuntary functions like movement, balance, and coordination. Also, blood flow and blood pressure.
• The skill of thinking and reasoning. The nervous system controls our consciousness and gives us thoughts, memories, etc.
The Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
The Central Nervous System comprises of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, and the Peripheral Nervous System includes sensory organs, ganglia (cluster of neurons) and nerves which connect to the Central Nervous System. Autonomic is the third category of the nervous system, and they are nerves that connect the central nervous system to the body organs like lungs, heart, etc.
The study of the nervous is called Neurology, and the doctor who specialises in neurology is known as Neurologist. You may find some of the best neurologists in India. The diseases that affect the nervous system are known as neurological disorders. Neurological disorders can affect the entire nervous system or a single neuron. Now, let’s take a look at some neurological disorders-
1. ALzheimer Disease
It affects the functions of our brain, our memory, and our behaviour by attacking brain cells and neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages between brain cells). Almost 24 million people suffer from this disorder.
• Cause– Age, hereditary factors, injury on head and others. The exact cause is unknown.
• Symptoms and diagnosis– forgetfulness, speech issues, difficulty in understanding others are some symptoms.
2. Bell’s palsy
It is a sudden paralysis or weakness that affects only one side of a face. Most people recover from it as it is temporary
• Cause– it occurs due to damage to the facial nerve or inflammation.
• Symptoms– drooping eyelids, difficulty in making facial expressions, drooling, loss of taste, pain around the infected area.
• Treatment– Oral steroids, antiviral medicines, eye drops or ointments.
3. Cerebral palsy
Here, the patient loses the ability to control muscles due to damage in the nervous system, during or after birth. Body movements and posture are affected by cerebral palsy.
• Cause- it occurs when there is damage to the brain sector, which controls muscle tone (motor cortex).
• Symptoms– children with this disorder fail to crawl, walk and talk.
• Treatment- There is no cure as the damage is permanent.
4. Parkinson’s disease
It majorly affects people over 65 years of age, but it can come earlier. Here, the region of the brain which produces dopamine (chemical triggering smooth control of muscles and movement) is damaged.
• Cause– Genetic/Hereditary, exposure to toxins
• Symptoms– Tremors, muscle rigidity, balance problem.
• Treatment– Cannot be cured but can be treated by a substitute for dopamine or brain surgery.
It is a common and long-term disorder where one has repeated seizures (episode of disrupted electrical activity in the brain).
6. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Damage to myelin (protective sheath) that surrounds nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. The damage causes scars and lesions. MS has no definite cure.
7. Motor Neurone disease
In this nerve cells are affected, which causes weakness in muscles and later it leads to paralysis if the situation worsens. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Blood tests or biopsy are used for diagnosis. It has no definite cure, as well.
India has developed in the medical field of Neuroscience and neurology. Hence, you can find some of the best neurologists in India.