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Diseases and Disorders of Nervous System

by
author image Antonius Ortega
Antonius Ortega is a 13-year veteran of the fitness industry and an athletic trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. His articles on fitness, health and travel have appeared in newspapers such as the "The Hornet," "The Daily Bruin," and "Stars and Stripes." Ortega trains in Orange County.
Diseases and Disorders of Nervous System
Disorders of the nervous system include mutiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Photo Credit new cells 6 image by chrisharvey from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), the nervous system is made up of two major divisions; the central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, made up of all other neural elements. The nervous system is an extremely complex network of electrical activity that can be affected by a variety of disorders.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is an age-related condition that affects a person's cognitive ability. Degeneration of healthy brain tissue is the most common cause. According to Mayoclinc.com, the condition causes a loss of social and intellectual skills that eventually interfere with daily life. Symptoms include memory loss, disorientation and loss of judgment. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, so treatment focuses on improving a patient's quality of life.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Typically, these seizures are caused by faulty or misfiring electrical impulses in the brain. Symptoms may include uncontrollable jerking movements, temporary confusion and blank staring spells. Seizures may become so violent that they cause bodily harm to the person with the disorder. Although seizures are a characteristic symptom of epilepsy, experiencing one does not mean you have epilepsy. A minimum of two unprovoked seizures are necessary for an epilepsy diagnosis. Mayoclinic.com says treatment for epilepsy includes medication, surgery and vagus nerve stimulation.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder that affects the central nervous system and can eventually lead to paralysis. The condition occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the protective sheath that covers the nerves. This results in a disruption in communication between the brain and the body. Early symptoms of the disease include blurred vision, double vision or a distortion of red and green colors, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. No cure for MS exists, but treatment through medication and physical therapy can help control and lessen symptoms.

Parkinson's Disease

Mayoclinic.com says Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects movement of the body. Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, researchers believe it may be caused by the presence of specific genetic mutations. Symptoms include trembling of the hands, slowed movements, speech changes and memory loss. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it can make daily tasks more and more difficult. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Forms of treatment that can control symptoms include medication, physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a condition that causes degeneration of muscles in the body. The most common forms of muscular dystrophy are due to a genetic deficiency of a certain muscle protein called dystrophin, according to Mayoclinic.com. Symptoms of muscular dystrophy include muscle weakness, frequent falls, progressive crippling and lack of coordination. There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of crippling and keeping the muscles mobile for as long as possible. This may be done with the help of physical therapy or surgery.

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