A very complex and highly specialized interconnection of the human body’s internal circuitry, the nervous system is like the body’s multimeter to the outside world, in the sense that it controls:
The body’s sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and sensations
The body’s ability to perform movement, balance, and coordination
The mind’s ability to think, reason, be conscious, and have thoughts, memories, and language
Divided into three parts – viz the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerve cells – the nervous system also regulates a whole range of voluntary and involuntary vital actions, such as blood flow and blood pressure. Given their enormity, they are prone to a host of problems, the symptoms of which might manifest all of sudden, posing a life-threatening situation or they might develop over a long period, all the while causing slow deterioration in one or a group of certain brain functions. Also, the symptoms can be mild or severe, transient or permanent, physiological or psychological, but never nonexistent, and when they do manifest, they will be in one of the following forms:
Numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of mobility in certain body parts
Lack of focus, reduced light sensitivity, double vision, tunnel vision, or loss of vision
Incoherentor illegible speech, confusion, and change in level of consciousness
Sudden onset of a severe headache, nausea, and vomiting
Dizziness, unsteadiness, or loss of balance and equilibrium
Seizures and abnormal body movements, such as twitching
In addition to these, there might also be certain behavioral changes that might not seem like an indicator of anything serious, but might actually be due to an underlying cause. These can include:
You find it difficult or impossible to move certain parts of your body
You can’t put weight on one leg as you have pain running down that leg
You find it hard to coordinate your movements, making you clumsier than before
You seem to be having to run to the bathroom too frequently and for no apparent reason
You get intense headaches that come and go frequently, but without any pattern
These symptoms will depend on the specific area of the nervous system that has been impacted and the underlying cause and the nature of these symptoms can provide clues as to the site of the issue. These sites can be divided into categories – Lower Level Sites, which include muscle, motor-end plates, peripheral nerves, spinal nerve roots, etc; and Higher level Sites, which include brainstem, cerebellum, thalamus etc. Below are the typical symptoms of issues in these specific areas:
Weakness in a specific set of muscles: Depending on the set of muscles impacted, the symptoms will be noticed when climbing stairs, getting up from a chair, lifting something, or even chewing the food.
Fatigue and weakness in motor end plate: This happens when the motor nerve impulses are unable to properly connect with the muscle end plate at the neuromuscular junction.
Weakness and muscle atrophy: This happens when there is sensory nerve damage, and might cause numbness, tingling, shooting or burning pains, hyperesthesia, and an absence of reflex activity.
Abnormal posture, abnormal deep and plantar reflexes: Caused by damage to the spinal cord, and often results in pain, temperature, and loss of scratch sensations.
Loss or reduced activity of cranial nerve functions: Caused by damage to the brainstem, this can also be life threatening, since many critical functions, such as consciousness, respiration, and blood pressure, are controlled from there
Difficulty in maintaining an upright posture: Caused by damage to the cerebellum, this can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as jerky movements of the eyes at rest, ataxia of the limbs, and even a severe tremor
Loss of sensation on the opposite sides of the body: This is typically caused by a lesion in the thalamus, and might be accompanied by extreme pain. Other related symptoms can include disorders of eye movement and speech impairment.
Loss of ability to perform purposeful actions: Damage to the various parts of the cerebral hemisphere can result in a loss of different day-to-day abilities, including something as complex as foresight, planning, and comprehension; or something as simple as the ability to put on clothes.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a nervous system disorder might resemble the symptoms of other medical conditions or problems, making it difficult for family members to realize the gravity of the affliction. If you or a loved one has these symptoms, call us at 8008104199 immediately to properly diagnose the issue and evaluate treatment options available to you!
Back when I was in college, I could never start studying at odd timings such as 9:27 am, or 11:05 am – it always had to be the beginning of an hour, or half an hour later, else it just didn’t feel right, and before I would know, the day was gone with nothing to show for it. Classic procrastinator, I know!
My grandfather used to tell me stories about how he, his five siblings, and their 11 cousins used to spend their childhood days swimming in the village pond or riding cows in the paddy fields, when they were not busy fighting among themselves.
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue. The most common cause of encephalitis is viral infections. In some of the cases it can be caused by bacteria or even fungi.
There are two main types of encephalitis: primary and secondary. Primary encephalitis occurs when a virus directly infects the brain and spinal cord. Secondary encephalitis can occurs when the infection starts in the body then travels into the brain.
Encephalitis is a rare yet serious disease that can be life-threatening. You should see the doctor immediately, if you have the symptoms of encephalitis.
Symptoms of encephalitis:
The symptoms of encephalitis can range from mild to severe.
Mild symptoms include:
Severe symptoms include:
Fever of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher
Sensitivity to light
Infants and young children show different symptoms. Call a doctor immediately if your child is experiencing any of the following:
Bulging fontanel (soft spot in the scalp)
Many different viruses can cause encephalitis. It’s helpful to categorize the potential causes into three groups: common viruses, childhood viruses, and arboviruses.
The most common virus that causes encephalitis in developed countries is herpes simplex. The herpes virus typically travels through a nerve to the skin, where it causes a cold sore. In rare cases, however, the virus travels to the brain.
This form of encephalitis usually affects the temporal lobe, the part of the brain that controls memory and speech. It can also affect the frontal lobe, the part that controls the emotions and behaviour. Encephalitis caused by herpes is dangerous and can lead to severe brain damage and death.
Other common viruses that can cause encephalitis include:
Vaccines can prevent childhood viruses that cause encephalitis. Some of the viruses occur in the childhood and can cause encephalitis are as follows:
Chicken pox (very rare)
Arboviruses are viruses carried by insects. The type of arbovirus that’s transmitted depends on the insect.
Risk factors for encephalitis:
The groups most at risk of encephalitis are:
Children under the age of 1
People with weak immune systems
There is a higher risk of getting encephalitis if you live in an area where mosquitoes or ticks are common. Mosquitoes and ticks can carry the viruses that can also cause this encephalitis. You are more likely to get an encephalitis during summer, when these insects are most active.
Regularly popping pills for a headache can make it worse, says a new study. What else can you do? Here are some suggest
WEAR YOUR HAIR DOWN
50 out of 93 women experienced a headache from wearing a ponytail. Plaits, chignons, tight-fitting hats and hair bands can all cause headaches if the hair is pulled back tight, straining the connective tissues in the scalp. If you have to tie your hair up for work or exercise, try to avoid the so-called Croydon face-lift effect.
GLUG PLENTY OF WATER
Simply drinking a big glass of water and waiting 10 minutes or rubbing the neck and temples for five minutes to relieve any tension is often sufficient to banish a headache.
DON’T BUY EXPENSIVE PAINKILLERS
Avoid painkillers that say ‘plus’ or ‘extra’. People choose them because they assume they will work faster, but they simply contain added ingredients like caffeine or codeine that might not be suitable for you. See your doctor if you’ve been taking paracetamol, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 15 days in a row.
SIT UP STRAIGHT
Slumping in your chair is the worst thing you can do if your head is pounding. When you slump forward in a C-shape, you tilt your head upwards, which can stretch your neck and pinch your nerves, making your headache worse. So, sit with your feet flat on the floor and keep your hips and knees facing forward.
AVOID HAM SANDWICHES
Ham contains tyramine (a natural substance in preserved foods) and nitrates, both of which increase blood flow to the brain and trigger pain. Tyramine is also found in foods that have been preserved, pickled, smoked, marinated or fermented. Cheese, chocolate and certain fruits like pineapple and bananas are also high in tyramine and/or food additives.
SNACK ON NUTS AND SEEDS
These are a great source of the mineral magnesium, which acts as a muscle relaxant. Depleted levels are linked with reduced blood flow to the brain and low blood sugar, which can trigger headaches. Researchers found that up to 50% of migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium. Other good sources of magnesium include fresh leafy, green vegetables, tomato puree, whole grains, beans, peas, potatoes, oats and yeast extract.
STAY CLEAR OF PERFUMES AND AIR FRESHENERS
Perfumes, aftershaves, strong-smelling soaps, air fresheners and household cleaners contain chemicals that activate nerve cells in the nose, which send signals to the brain. In some people, these nerve signals are strong enough to cause headaches. Open up the windows and use chemical-free sprays instead. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of essential oil and spritz it around instead.
FOLLOW THE 20/20 RULE
Staring at a computer screen for too long can leave you with a headache, sore or tired eyes and even blurred vision. So, look up from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20ft away for 20 seconds.
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The quality of your skin is a sure-fire way to get a reading on your overall level of health. Of course, some people struggle with skin issues like acne and are otherwise perfectly fine — but skin quality can clue you in to some bigger problems. A poor diet can really impact your skin quality, and if you’re noticing blemishes like stretch marks? That should tell you that something is wrong.
Can’t seem to fall asleep at night? That can be an indication that some aspects of your life need adjusting. Whether it be that you’re eating the wrong foods, ingesting too much caffeine late in the day, or not expelling enough energy during the day, not being able to sleep presents an issue — which cascades into further issues.
Yep, we’re getting down and dirty. Take note of the color of your urine, and even how frequently you’re going No. 2 — those could both provide important insight into the state of your overall health. Since you’re going to ask, your urine should be a pale yellow color — and hopefully odorless. As for your bowel movement frequency, there’s a wide range. But if you’re going regularly, you’re probably fine. And don’t ignore the grimy details during your investigation.
Lip balm reliance
If your lips are constantly chapped, and you find that you can’t live without lip balm, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Specifically, your lip condition is an indicator of your vitamin levels. If your lips are chapped, you may be vitamin strapped — so diversify your diet, and get the nutrients you need.
Bad finger and toe nails
If the condition of your lips wasn’t a solid enough indicator, your finger and toe nails can also give you a heads-up if you’re unhealthy. You’re going to want to be on the lookout for ridges, discoloration, and bumps — all of which should be red flags. Your nails can tell you a lot about your overall state of health, so if something is strange, don’t ignore it.
Body temperature fluctuation
Icy feet and hands aren’t normal. Yes, there could be environmental factors at play, but if you’re consistently finding that your extremities are ice cold, it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems. Specifically, cold hands or feet might mean that you’re having circulation issues, and that your body isn’t getting blood where it needs to go. If this is a chronic issue, have it checked out.
A cloudy mind
It’s becoming quite clear that our cognitive ability and brain health are closely tied to our physical condition. That means that obesity and elevated levels of body fat can have a significant impact on our ability to think and reason. It’s kind of scary, but also a very promising area of research. So, if you can’t formulate a potent thought, it may be a sign that it’s time to drop some weight.
3. Tenderness and Pain in the Back of Your Lower Leg
This can be a symptom of a blood clot in your leg. It’s called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. It can happen after you’ve been sitting for a long time, like on a long plane ride, or if you’re sick and have been in bed a long time.
If it’s a blood clot, you may feel the pain mostly when you stand or walk. You may also notice swelling.
It’s normal to feel tenderness after exercise. But if you also see redness and feel heat where it’s swollen or painful, call your doctor.
It’s important to catch a blood clot before it can break off and block your blood flow, which can lead to complications.
Several things can cause you to see blood when you pee.
If you have blood in your urine and you also feel a lot of pain in your side or in your back, you may have kidney stones. A kidney stone is a small crystal made of minerals and salts that forms in your kidney and moves through the tube that carries your urine.
Your doctor may take X-rays or do an ultrasound to see the stones. An X-ray uses radiation in low doses to make images of structures inside your body. An ultrasound makes images with sound waves.
Many kidney stones eventually pass through your body when you pee. Sometimes your doctor may need to remove the kidney stone.
If you see blood in your urine and you also have an increase in feeling that you urgently need to pee, make frequent trips to the bathroom, or feel burning when you urinate, you may have a severe bladder or kidney infection.
If you see blood but don’t feel any pain, it may be a sign of kidney or bladder cancer, so visit your doctor.
Breathing problems should be treated right away. If you’re wheezing, or hear a whistling sound when you breathe, see your doctor.
“Without urgent evaluation, breathing can quickly become labored, and it can be catastrophic if not evaluated and treated quickly.
It may be from asthma, a lung disease, a severe allergy, or exposure to chemicals. Your doctor can figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it. If you have asthma, an allergist will create a plan to manage it and reduce flare-ups.
Wheezing can also be caused by pneumonia or bronchitis. Are you coughing up yellow or green mucus? Do you also have a fever or shortness of breath? If so, you may have bronchitis that’s turning into pneumonia. “Time to see your doctor.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s.
What is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease?
Like all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by brain cell death. It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. The total brain size shrinks with Alzheimer’s– the tissue has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections.
Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. But drug and non-drug treatments may help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Researchers are looking for new treatments to alter the course of the disease and improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
During this stage, Alzheimer’s disease is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident.
Stage 2: Very Mild Decline
The senior may notice minor memory problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the memory loss can easily be distinguished from normal age related memory loss. The person will still do well on memory tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by physicians or loved ones.
Stage 3: Mild Decline
At this stage, the friends and family members of the senior may begin to notice memory and cognitive problems. Performance on memory and cognitive tests are affected and physicians will be able to detect impaired cognitive function.
Patients in stage 3 will have difficulty in many areas including:
Finding the right word during conversations
Remembering names of new acquaintances
Planning and organizing
People with stage three Alzheimer’s may also frequently lose personal possessions, including
Stage 4: Moderate Decline
In stage four of Alzheimer’s disease clear cut symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent. Patients with stage four Alzheimer’s disease:
Have difficulty with simple arithmetic
May forget details about their life histories
Have poor short term memory (may not recall what they ate for breakfast, for example)
Inability to manage finance and pay bills
Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline
During the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, patients begin to need help with many day to day activities. People in stage five of the disease may experience:
Inability to recall simple details about themselves such as their own phone number
Difficulty dressing appropriately
On the other hand, patients in stage five maintain a modicum of functionality. They typically can still bathe and toilet independently. They also usually still know their family members and some detail about their personal histories, especially their childhood and youth.
Stage 6: Severe Decline
Patients with the sixth stage of Alzheimer’s disease need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:
Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
Inability to recognize faces except closest friends and relatives
Inability to remember most details of personal history
Loss of bowel and bladder control
Stages 7: Very Severe Decline
Stage seven is the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness, patients in stage seven are nearing death. In stage seven of the disease, patients lose ability to respond to their environment or communicate. While they may still be able to utter words and phrases, they have no insight into their condition and need assistance with all activities of daily living. In the final stages of the illness, patients may lose their ability to swallow.
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