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:
- Lower-level sites
- 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.
- Higher-level sites
- 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!