Neurological disorders have rapidly become a significant and growing problem. According to the World Health Organization, neurological impairments and their accompanying behavioral problems affect more that 450 million individuals worldwide as of 2010.
Vascular Neurological Disorders
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke posit that vascular disorders most commonly seen today include strokes, transient ischemic atacks (TIA), subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding on the brain between the brain and the tissues which cover the brain), subdural hemorrhage and hematoma (a pooling of blood which adds pressure to the brain), and extradural hemorrhage (a rupture of blood usually caused by a skull fracture) seen especially in children and adolescents.
Infectious Disease-Related Neurological Disorders
The World Health Organization lists infections as a primary threat to neurological condition. These disease-related conditions typically begin elsewhere in the body, which can lead to neurological damage, disorder or death. The most commonly occurring infections of this magnitude include meningitis, which is an infection in the brain and spinal cord caused by a viral or bacterial infection which can result in brain damage or death; encephalitis, an inflammation in the brain; polio, a communicable disease originating from fecal-oral contact that can ultimately lead to paralysis; and epidural abscess, which is a collection of pus that gathers between the outer layer of the brain and down the spinal cord.
Structural Neurological Disorders
Ross explains in his book, "How to Examine the Nervous System," that structural neurological disorders are those that result from traumatic injury to the skeletal, muscular, nervous or vascular systems. Conditions most often seen from this group include tumors, brain or spinal cord injury, Bell's palsy (facial paralysis), cervical spondylosis (osteoarthritis and inflammation of the neck), carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve compression at the wrist), peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nervous system) and Guillian-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune disorder of the peripheral nervous system).
Functional Neurological Disorders
According to the Howard County General Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine "Online Resources-Nervous System Disorders" and the National Headache Foundation, the functional neurological disorders are seemingly the most prevalent group. This group includes headaches and migraines, epilepsy (seizure disorder), dizziness, and neuralgia (unexplained nerve pain).
Neurological Disorders Resulting From Degenerative Conditions
The World Health Organization lists the neurological degenerative disorders as among the most costly and talked-about group of these disorders. This group is includes Parkinson's disease, which is a disease that causes muscle rigidity, tremors, changes in gait and speech; multiple sclerosis, a condition that causes changes in sensation, muscle weakness, spasms and poor coordination; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--also called Lou Gehrig's disease--which causes weakness and paralysis; Huntington's disease, an inherited disease that causes jerky body movements, poor coordination and behavioral problems; and Alzheimer's disease, a progressive condition that causes memory loss, decision-making problems and behavioral problems.
- "How to Examine the Nervous System;" R. Ross, 1999.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Disorder Index
- Howard County General Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine: Headache
- National Headache Foundation: Tools for Sufferers