Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them. There are more than diseases of the nervous system, such as . Alphabetical list of currently known Human Neurological Conditions including short definitions for each disorder. A: Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. In other words, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves.
The hallmarks of psychiatric disorders, on the other hand, are disturbed behavior and emotional state. While doctors ordinarily request a neurology consult when there are signs of problems with the central nervous system during a physical exam or in brain imaging results, psychiatrist Desiree Shapiro , an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, describes the challenges faced by doctors when exams are normal.
While neurological disorders involve damage to and degeneration of the nervous system, sometimes that damage can alter the communication between neurons. When it does, those changes can manifest themselves in problems with behavior, body control, memory, and mood. In other words, the same problems psychiatrists treat. Neuronal communication has been implicated in depression, behavioral problems, posttraumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia.
These disorders can affect social interactions, mood, concentration, memory, and body control. Both psychiatrists and neurologists have four years of training as medical doctors plus training in their specialties, and often, they work together to determine appropriate medications and therapies, she says. Ultimately, the goal is to help the patient get the appropriate treatment. And, sometimes that means close collaboration. She works as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in neuroscience and mental health topics.
Neuroimaging distinction between neurological and psychiatric disorders. All trademarks TM and registered R trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us. Absence of the Septum Pellucidum - The septum pellucidum SP is a thin membrane located at the mid-line of the brain.
Children who are born without this membrane and also have other abnormalities, pituitary deficiencies and abnormal development of the optic disk have a disorder known as septo-optic dysplasia. Acid Lipase Disease - is a name used to describe two related disorders of fatty acid metabolism.
Acid lipase disease occurs when the enzyme needed to break down certain fats that are normally digested by the body is lacking or missing, resulting in the toxic buildup of these fats in the body's cells and tissues. These fatty substances, called lipids, include waxes, oils, and cholesterol. Acid Maltase Deficiency - Glycogen storage disease type II also called Pompe disease or acid maltase deficiency is a rare genetic disorder caused by a deficiency in the enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase GAA EC 3.
Acquired Epileptiform Aphasia - Landau-Kleffner syndrome LKS is a rare, childhood neurological disorder characterized by the sudden or gradual development of aphasia the inability to understand or express language and an abnormal electro-encephalogram EEG. LKS affects the parts of the brain that control comprehension and speech.
The disorder usually occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 7 years. Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis - is an immune mediated disease of brain. It usually occurs following a viral infection or vaccination, but it may also appear spontaneously. It is similar in some ways to multiple sclerosis, and is considered part of the Multiple sclerosis borderline. Adie's Pupil - is a neurological condition of unknown origin with an unusual, asymmetric presentation known as anisocoria, an inequality in the size of the pupils of the eyes.
It is believed to be a result of damage to the nerve innervating a muscle of the eye known as the ciliary body. Alternately, the problem may be located at the ciliary ganglion, a kind of nerve junction structure from which the nerve to the ciliary body runs. Adie's Syndrome - also Adie's syndrome, Adie's Tonic Pupil or Holmes-Adie's syndrome, is caused by damage to the postganglionic fibers of the parasympathetic innervation of the eye and characterized by a tonically dilated pupil.
The pupil is characteristically poorly reactive to light but slowly reactive to accommodation. Adrenoleukodystrophy - is one of a group of genetic disorders called the leukodystrophies that cause damage to the myelin sheath, an insulating membrane that surrounds nerve cells in the brain. People with ALD accumulate high levels of saturated, very long chain fatty acids VLCFA in the brain and adrenal cortex because they do not produce the enzyme that breaks down these fatty acids in the normal manner.
The loss of myelin and the progressive dysfunction of the adrenal gland are the primary characteristics of ALD. Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum - ACC is a rare birth defect congenital disorder in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum. Agenesis of the corpus callosum occurs when the corpus callosum, the band of tissue connecting the two hemispheres of the brain, does not develop typically in utero.
In addition to agenesis of the corpus callosum, other callosal disorders include hypogenesis partial formation , dysgenesis malformation of the corpus callosum, and hypoplasia underdevelopment of the corpus callosum. Agnosia - is a loss of ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes, or smells while the specific sense is not defective nor is there any significant memory loss. It is usually associated with brain injury or neurological illness, particularly after damage to the right parietal lobe.
Aicardi Syndrome - is a rare genetic disorder. Aicardi syndrome is characterized by the following: Absence of the corpus callosum, either partial or complete the corpus callosum is the part of the brain which sits between the right and left sides of the brain and allows the right side to communicate with the left. Infantile spasms a form of seizures Lesions or "lacunae" of the retina of the eye that are very specific to this disorder.
Other types of defects of the brain such as microcephaly , small brain ; enlarged ventricles; or porencephalic cysts a gap in the brain where there should be healthy brain tissue. Aicardi syndrome only affects females, and in very rare cases, males with Klinefelter syndrome XXY. The spectrum of neurological disorders is broad and involves the central nervous system, or CNS brain and spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system, or PNS nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, and related muscle.
Alexander Disease - is a slowly progressing and fatal neurodegenerative disease. It is a very rare disorder which results from a genetic mutation and mostly affects infants and children, causing developmental delay and changes in physical characteristics.
Alpers' Disease - is a rare degenerative disease of the brain involving the grey matter. It is characterized by acute onset of severe convulsions leading to rapid intellectual and bodily breakdown. Other traits are blindness, deafness, myoclonus, spasticity, choroathetosis, cerebellar ataxia, growth retardation, plus terminal decortication.
Manifests in early childhood and usually causes death within months. Alternating Hemiplegia - Alternating hemiplegia is a rare neurological disorder that develops in childhood, usually before the first 4 years. The disorder is characterized by recurrent but temporary episodes of paralysis on one side of the body. Alzheimer's Disease - AD is a slowly progressive disease of the brain that is characterized by impairment of memory and eventually by disturbances in reasoning, planning, language, and perception.
The UMN findings include hyperreflexia and spasticity. They result from degeneration of the lateral corticospinal tracts in the spinal cord. The LMN findings include weakness, atrophy, and fasciculations.
ALS is eventually fatal because of respiratory muscle weakness. Anencephaly - is a condition present at birth that affects the formation of the brain and skull bones surrounding the head. Often, the brain lacks part or all of the cerebrum. There is no bony covering over the back of the head and there may also be missing bones around the front and sides of the head. Aneurysm - An aneurysm or anneurism is a localized, blood-filled dilation of a blood vessel caused by disease or weakening of the vessel wall.
Aneurysms most commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain and in the aorta the main artery coming out of the heart. The bulge in a blood vessel can burst and lead to death at any time.
The larger an aneurysm becomes, the more likely it is to burst. Aneurysms can usually be treated. Angelman Syndrome - Symptoms of Angelman syndrome are learning disability, jerky movements, a tendency to seizures and a happy, sociable personality. Children with Angelman syndrome often do not learn to sit until around one year of age.
The majority of children will learn to walk but with a stiff legged gait. Many children with Angelman syndrome have a facial appearance with a wide, smiling mouth, deep set eyes and prominent chin. These features become more prominent as children get older.
Angiomatosis - refers to little knots of capillaries in various organs. These tend to be cavernous hemangiomas, which are sharply defined, sponge-like tumors composed of large, dilated, cavernous vascular spaces. Anoxia - Hypoxia is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole generalized hypoxia or region of the body tissue hypoxia is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
Hypoxia in which there is complete deprivation of oxygen supply, is referred to as anoxia. In the case of altitude sickness, where hypoxia develops gradually, the symptoms include headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, a feeling of euphoria and nausea. In severe hypoxia, or hypoxia of very rapid onset, changes in levels of consciousness, seizures, coma and death occur. It is not a result of deficits in sensory, intellect, or psychiatric functioning. Depending on the area and extent of the damage, someone suffering from aphasia may be able to speak but not write, or vice versa, or display any of a wide variety of other deficiencies in language comprehension and production, such as being able to sing but not speak.
Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech. Apraxia - is a neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to execute or carry out learned purposeful movements, despite having the desire to and the physical ability to perform the movements. It is a disorder of motor planning which may be acquired or developmental, but may not be caused by in-coordination, sensory loss, or failure to comprehend simple commands.
Arachnoid Cysts - represent benign cysts that occur in the cerebrospinal axis in relation to the arachnoid membrane and do not communicate with the ventricular system.
They usually contain clear, colorless fluid that is most likely normal cerebrospinal fluid, but they rarely contain xanthochromic fluid. Arachnoid cysts also occur within the spinal canal, in which arachnoid cysts or arachnoid diverticula may be located subdurally or in the epidural space. Spinal arachnoid cysts are commonly located dorsal to the cord in the thoracic region.
Arachnoiditis - is a neuropathic disease caused by the inflammation of the arachnoid, one of the membranes that surround and protect the nerves of the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. The arachnoid can become inflamed because of an irritation from chemicals, infection from bacteria or viruses, as the result of direct injury to the spine, chronic compression of spinal nerves, or complications from spinal surgery or other invasive spinal procedures.
It occurs in almost all children born with both spina bifida and hydrocephalus. The cerebellar tonsils are elongated and pushed down through the opening of the base of the skull blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid CSF. The brainstem, cranial nerves, and the lower portion of the cerebellum may be stretched or compressed. Arteriovenous Malformation - AVMs are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth.
Although AVMs can develop in many different sites, those located in the brain or spinal cord can have especially widespread effects on the body. Most people with neurological AVMs experience few, if any, significant symptoms. The malformations tend to be discovered only incidentally, usually either at autopsy or during treatment for an unrelated disorder.
Asperger Syndrome - also called Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's disorder, Asperger's or AS is one of several autism spectrum disorders ASD characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted, stereotyped interests and activities.
AS is distinguished from the other ASDs in having no general delay in language or cognitive development. Ataxia - Friedreich's ataxia is an inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system resulting in symptoms ranging from gait disturbance and speech problems to heart disease. Coordination problems such as clumsy or awkward movements and unsteadiness, occurs in many different diseases and conditions. The ataxia of Friedreich's ataxia results from the degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord and of nerves that control muscle movement in the arms and legs.
The spinal cord becomes thinner and nerve cells lose some of their myelin sheath, the insular covering on all nerve cells that helps conduct nerve impulses.
Ataxia Telangiectasia - is a rare, childhood neurological disorder that causes degeneration in the part of the brain that controls motor movements and speech. Its most unusual symptom is an acute sensitivity to ionizing radiation, such as X-rays or gamma-rays. The first signs of the disease, which include delayed development of motor skills, poor balance, and slurred speech, usually occur during the first decade of life. Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration - SCA is a genetic disease with multiple types, each of which could be considered a disease in its own right.
Spinocerebellar ataxia SCA is one of a group of genetic disorders characterized by slowly progressive in-coordination of gait and often associated with poor coordination of hands, speech, and eye movements. Frequently, atrophy of the cerebellum occurs. Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke - Atrial fibrillation is a rapid uncoordinated generation of electrical impulses by the atria of the heart.
The most serious side effect of atrial fibrillation is stroke. Half of all strokes associated with atrial fibrillation are major and disabling. Autism - is a brain development disorder that impairs social interaction and communication, and causes restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old.
This set of signs distinguishes autism from milder autism spectrum disorders ASD such as Asperger syndrome. Autism is highly heritable, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is generally unclear which genes are responsible.
Autonomic Dysfunction - refers to a disorder of autonomic nervous system ANS function. Most physicians view dysautonomia in terms of failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic components of the ANS, but dysautonomia involving excessive ANS activities also can occur. Dysautonomia can be local, as in reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or generalized, as in pure autonomic failure. It can be acute and reversible, as in Guillain-Barre syndrome, or chronic and progressive. Several common conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism can include dysautonomia.
Back Pain - also known "dorsalgia" is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. Barth Syndrome - is a rare congenital metabolic and neuromuscular disorder that affects boys. It is passed from mother to son through the sex-linked, or X, chromosome. Symptoms affect multiple systems of the body and may include changes to metabolism, motor delays, hypotonia, delayed growth, cardiomyopathy, weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, lack of stamina, hypoglycemia, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, and varying degrees of physical and learning disability.
Batten Disease - is a rare, fatal, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that begins in childhood. Also known as Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren-Batten disease, it is the most common form of a group of disorders called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis or NCLs.
Becker's Myotonia - Myotonia congenita is an inherited neuromuscular disorder characterized by the inability of muscles to quickly relax after a voluntary contraction. The condition is present since early childhood, but symptoms can be mild. Most children will be 2 or 3 years old when parents first notice their muscle stiffness, particularly in the legs, often provoked by sudden activity after rest.
Behcet's Disease - is a chronic condition due to disturbances in the body's immune system. This system, which normally protects the body against infections through controlled inflammation, becomes over-active and produces unpredictable outbreaks of exaggerated inflammation.
This extra inflammation affects blood vessels, usually the small ones. As a result, symptoms occur wherever there is a patch of inflammation, and can be anywhere where there is a blood supply.
Bell's Palsy - is a weakness or paralysis of the muscles that control expression on one side of your face. The disorder results from damage to one of a pair of facial nerves that runs beneath each ear to the muscles in your face.
Benign Essential Blepharospasm - BEB is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements.
Benign Focal Amyotrophy - Monomelic amyotrophy MMA is a rare disease of the nerves that control voluntary movements of the limbs. Monomelic amyotrophy may also be known as benign focal amyotrophy, single limb atrophy, Hirayama syndrome or Sobue disease. Descriptive terms such as brachial monomelic amyotrophy MMA confined to an arm or monomelic amyotrophy of the lower limb MMMA of a leg may be used to specify the type of limb affected.
Benign Intracranial Hypertension - sometimes called benign intracranial hypertension BIH or pseudotumor cerebri PTC is a neurological disorder that is characterized by increased intracranial pressure ICP , in the absence of a tumor or other diseases affecting the brain or its lining.
The main symptoms are headache and visual problems. Diagnosis requires brain scans and lumbar puncture. There are various medical and surgical treatments. Bernhardt-Roth Syndrome - is a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh. The disorder is caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve as it exits the pelvis. It more commonly occurs in men than women, and is generally found in middle-aged or overweight individuals.
People with the disorder frequently report that it appears or worsens after walking or standing. The skin is often sensitive to touch. Meralgia paresthetica is associated with clothing that is too tight, pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity. Binswanger's Disease - or Subcortical Leukoencephalopathy is a rare form of multi-infarct dementia caused by damage to deep white brain matter.
It is characterized by loss of memory and intellectual function and by changes in mood. Blepharospasm - eye twitching is any abnormal tic or twitch of the eyelid.
However, it is normally distinguished from less serious disorders and refers to Benign Essential Blepharospasm, a focal dystonia a neurological movement disorder involving involuntary and sustained muscle contractions of the muscles around the eyes. The cause is often undetermined, but fatigue or an irritant are possible contributing factors.
Bloch-Sulzberger Syndrome - Incontinentia pigmenti IP is one of a group of gene-linked diseases known as neurocutaneous disorders. These disorders cause characteristic patterns of discolored skin and also involve the brain, eyes, nails, and hair.
Males are more severely affected than females. Brachial Plexus Injuries - The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries are caused by damage to those nerves. Erb-Duchenne Erb's palsy refers to paralysis of the upper brachial plexus. Dejerine-Klumpke Klumpke's palsy refers to paralysis of the lower brachial plexus.
Symptoms of brachial plexus injury may include a limp or paralyzed arm; lack of muscle control in the arm, hand, or wrist, and lack of feeling or sensation in the arm or hand. Bradbury-Eggleston Syndrome - Orthostatic hypotension is a sudden fall in blood pressure that occurs when a person assumes a standing position.
It may be caused by hypovolemia a decreased amount of blood in the body , resulting from the excessive use of diuretics, vasodilators, or other types of drugs, dehydration, or prolonged bed rest.
The disorder may be associated with Addison's disease, atherosclerosis build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries , diabetes, and certain neurological disorders. Brain and Spinal Tumors - are abnormal growths of tissue found inside the skull or the bony spinal column, which are the primary components of the central nervous system CNS.
Benign tumors are noncancerous, and malignant tumors are cancerous. The CNS is housed within rigid, bony quarters i. Tumors that originate in the brain or spinal cord are called primary tumors. Brain Aneurysm - A cerebral aneurysm or brain aneurysm is a cerebrovascular disorder in which weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein causes a localized dilation or ballooning of the blood vessel.
Brain Injury - TBI , traumatic injuries to the brain, also called intracranial injury, or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury and is one of two subsets of acquired brain injury ABI. The other subset is non-traumatic brain injury e. Parts of the brain that can be damaged include the cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, and brain stem. TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social effects.
Brown-Sequard Syndrome - is an incomplete spinal cord lesion characterized by a clinical picture reflecting hemisection of the spinal cord, often in the cervical cord region. It is a rare syndrome, consisting of ipsilateral hemiplegia with contralateral pain and temperature sensation deficits because of the crossing of the fibers of the spinothalamic tract. Bulbospinal Muscular Atrophy - or Kennedy's disease is an inherited motor neuron disease that affects males.
It is one of a group of disorders called spinal muscular atrophy SMA. Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has been diagnosed in men from their teens to their 70s.
Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculations fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin. Cadasil - Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy is an inherited form of cerebrovascular disease that occurs when the thickening of blood vessel walls blocks the flow of blood to the brain.
The disease primarily affects small blood vessels in the white matter of the brain. A mutation in the Notch3 gene alters the muscular walls in these small arteries. Other symptoms include white matter lesions throughout the brain, cognitive deterioration, seizures, vision problems, and psychiatric problems such as severe depression and changes in behavior and personality. Individuals may also be at higher risk of heart attack.
Canavan Disease - one of the most common cerebral degenerative diseases of infancy, is a gene-linked, neurological birth disorder in which the white matter of the brain degenerates into spongy tissue riddled with microscopic fluid-filled spaces.
Canavan disease is one of a group of genetic disorders known as the leukodystrophies. These diseases cause imperfect growth or development of the myelin sheath, the fatty covering that acts as an insulator around nerve fibers in the brain.
Myelin, which lends its color to the "white matter" of the brain, is a complex substance made up of at least ten different chemicals. Each of the leukodystrophies affects one and only one of these substances.
Canavan disease is caused by mutations in the gene for an enzyme called aspartoacylase. Symptoms of Canavan disease, which appear in early infancy and progress rapidly, may include mental retardation, loss of previously acquired motor skills, feeding difficulties, abnormal muscle tone floppiness or stiffness , and an abnormally large, poorly controlled head.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers although not the little finger , as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand houses the median nerve and tendons.
Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. The key symptom of CRPS is continuous, intense pain out of proportion to the severity of the injury, which gets worse rather than better over time. CRPS most often affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
Often the pain spreads to include the entire arm or leg. Typical features include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating, and swelling.
Cavernomas - A cerebral cavernous malformation CCM is a collection of small blood vessels capillaries in the central nervous system CNS that is enlarged and irregular in structure and takes the shape of a characteristic honeycomb-like pattern. In CCM, the walls of the capillaries are thinner than normal, less elastic, and prone to leaking. Cavernous malformations can occur anywhere in the body, but usually only produce symptoms when they are found in the brain and spinal cord.
Some people with CCM - experts estimate 25 percent - will never experience any related medical problems. Cavernous Angioma - also known as cerebral cavernous malformation CCM , cavernous haemangioma, and cavernoma, is a vascular disorder of the central nervous system that may appear either sporadically or exhibit autosomal dominant inheritance.
Central Cord Syndrome - is a form of incomplete spinal cord injury characterized by impairment in the arms and hands and to a lesser extent in the legs. The brain's ability to send and receive signals to and from parts of the body below the site of injury is reduced but not entirely blocked. This syndrome is associated with damage to the large nerve fibers that carry information directly from the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord.
These nerves are particularly important for hand and arm function. Symptoms may include paralysis or loss of fine control of movements in the arms and hands, with relatively less impairment of leg movements. Sensory loss below the site of the injury and loss of bladder control may also occur. Central Pain Syndrome - is a neurological condition caused by damage to or dysfunction of the central nervous system CNS , which includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord.
This syndrome can be caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, epilepsy, brain or spinal cord trauma, or Parkinson's disease. The character of the pain associated with this syndrome differs widely among individuals partly because of the variety of potential causes. Central pain syndrome may affect a large portion of the body or may be more restricted to specific areas, such as hands or feet. The extent of pain is usually related to the cause of the CNS injury or damage.
Pain is typically constant, may be moderate to severe in intensity, and is often made worse by touch, movement, emotions, and temperature changes, usually cold temperatures. Central Pontine Myelinolysis - CPM is a neurological disorder that most frequently occurs after too rapid medical correction of sodium deficiency hyponatremia. The rapid rise in sodium concentration is accompanied by the movement of small molecules and pulls water from brain cells.
Through a mechanism that is only partly understood, the shift in water and brain molecules leads to the destruction of myelin, a substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Nerve cells neurons can also be damaged. Certain areas of the brain are particularly susceptible to myelinolysis, especially the part of the brainstem called the pons.
Some individuals will also have damage in other areas of the brain, which is called extrapontine myelinolysis EPM. Cephalic Disorders - are congenital conditions that stem from damage to, or abnormal development of, the budding nervous system.
Cephalic is a term that means "head" or "head end of the body. Although there are many congenital developmental disorders, this fact sheet briefly describes only cephalic conditions. Cephalic disorders are not necessarily caused by a single factor but may be influenced by hereditary or genetic conditions or by environmental exposures during pregnancy such as medication taken by the mother, maternal infection, or exposure to radiation.
Some cephalic disorders occur when the cranial sutures the fibrous joints that connect the bones of the skull join prematurely. Most cephalic disorders are caused by a disturbance that occurs very early in the development of the fetal nervous system. Ceramidase Deficiency - Farber's disease describes a group of inherited metabolic disorders called lipid storage diseases, in which excess amounts of lipids oils, fatty acids, and related compounds build up to harmful levels in the joints, tissues, and central nervous system.
The liver, heart, and kidneys may also be affected. Symptoms are typically seen in the first few weeks of life and include impaired motor and mental ability and difficulty with swallowing. Other symptoms may include arthritis, swollen lymph nodes and joints, hoarseness, nodules under the skin and sometimes in the lungs and other parts of the body , chronic shortening of muscles or tendons around joints, and vomiting. Affected persons may require the insertion of a breathing tube.
In severe cases, the liver and spleen are enlarged. Cerebellar Degeneration - is a disease process in which neurons in the cerebellum - the area of the brain that controls muscle coordination and balance - deteriorate and die. Diseases that cause cerebellar degeneration can also involve areas of the brain that connect the cerebellum to the spinal cord, such as the medulla oblongata, the cerebral cortex, and the brain stem.
Cerebellar degeneration is most often the result of inherited genetic mutations that alter the normal production of specific proteins that are necessary for the survival of neurons. Cerebellar Hypoplasia - is a neurological condition in which the cerebellum is smaller than usual or not completely developed. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a feature of a number of congenital present at birth malformation syndromes, such as Walker-Warburg syndrome.
It is also associated with several inherited metabolic disorders, such as Williams syndrome, and some of the neurodegenerative disorders that begin in early childhood, such as ataxia telangiectasia.
In an infant or young child, symptoms of a disorder that features cerebellar hypoplasia might include floppy muscle tone, developmental or speech delay, problems with walking and balance, seizures, mental retardation, and involuntary side to side movements of the eyes. In an older child, symptoms might include headache, dizzy spells, clumsiness, and hearing impairment.
Cerebral Aneurysm - also known as an intracranial or intracerebral aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood.
The bulging aneurysm can put pressure on a nerve or surrounding brain tissue. It may also leak or rupture, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue called a hemorrhage. Some cerebral aneurysms, particularly those that are very small, do not bleed or cause other problems. Cerebral aneurysms can occur anywhere in the brain, but most are located along a loop of arteries that run between the underside of the brain and the base of the skull. Cerebral Arteriosclerosis - Cerebral arteriosclerosis is the result of thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries in the brain.
Symptoms of cerebral arteriosclerosis include headache, facial pain, and impaired vision. Cerebral arteriosclerosis can cause serious health problems. If the walls of an artery are too thick, or a blood clot becomes caught in the narrow passage, blood flow to the brain can become blocked and cause an ischemic stroke.
When the thickening and hardening is uneven, arterial walls can develop bulges called aneurysms. If a bulge ruptures, bleeding in the brain can cause a hemorrhagic stroke. Both types of stroke can be fatal. Cerebral Atrophy - is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means loss of cells.
In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Atrophy can be generalized, which means that all of the brain has shrunk; or it can be focal, affecting only a limited area of the brain and resulting in a decrease of the functions that area of the brain controls. If the cerebral hemispheres the two lobes of the brain that form the cerebrum are affected, conscious thought and voluntary processes may be impaired.
Cerebral Beriberi - Wernicke's encephalopathy is a degenerative brain disorder caused by the lack of thiamine vitamin B1. It may result from alcohol abuse, dietary deficiencies, prolonged vomiting, eating disorders, or the effects of chemotherapy.
Motor and sensory systems are well integrated Flor and Diers, It has been suggested that phantom limb pain is caused by motor cortex dysfunction that is the result of dissociation between motor and sensory representations Karl et al.
Through motor training, phantom-limb patients may decrease their pain, presumably by resetting these altered sensory—motor dissociations. Recent work has indicated that mirror movement differentially activates the sensory cortex in amputees with and without phantom pain, further implicating altered functional connectivity Diers et al.
Related to this is the use of smart limb prosthetics Marasco et al. Electroconvulsive therapy has been suggested to be of use in chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease—on both psychiatric manifestations and motor systems Popeo and Kellner, Electroconvulsive therapy has also been recommended for chronic pain Fukui et al.
Thalamic blood flow is reportedly normalized following electroconvulsive therapy in patients with CRPS Fukui et al. The interesting application in many of the neurological orders discussed relates to electroconvulsive therapy's strong antidepressant effects Merkl et al.
Ketamine has been used to treat chronic pain and depression Berman et al. In chronic pain, higher doses seem to be more effective and reports have suggested that very high or continued dosing anaesthetic levels may reverse conditions such as CRPS Kiefer et al. Indeed in uncontrolled trials, anaesthetic levels of ketamine reversed pain in 20 patients with chronic pain, producing complete relief in all patients at 1 month; pain relief persisted in 17 of these patients at 3 months, and in 16 at 6 months Kiefer et al.
Clearly, controlled trials are required to verify these findings, but they raise the exciting possibility that ketamine alters brain systems in a significant manner in a highly resistant population. This approach is clearly not recommended in patients with neurodegenerative disease, particularly those with hyperexcitability-related pathogenesis, in which ketamine could potentially exacerbate ongoing neurotoxicity. Neurosurgical approaches have included stereotaxic surgery Weigel and Krauss, and high intensity focused ultrasound of various brain structures including the thalamus Martin et al.
Cingulotomy is perhaps the classic neurosurgical ablative technique reported to provide pain control Wilkinson et al.
Following cingulotomy for a non-pain disorder , pain affect in response to noxious heat and cold was altered Davis et al. In patients undergoing cingulotomy, microelectode single unit measures of cingulate neurons following reward-based stimuli revealed decrease in neuronal activity predicting movement. However, following ablation, patients made more errors Williams et al. Morphine has been postulated to have a similar effect on modulation of affect by the cingulate cortex LaGraize et al.
Clearly any lesion of the brain will alter the dynamics of brain function both at a local brain region and at a systems level through afferent and efferent connections. Stimulation techniques, whether extracranial e. Although small case studies of deep brain stimulation reported successful outcomes Owen et al. A meta-analysis of deep brain stimulation for pain Bittar et al. Even higher rates of success were seen with phantom limb pain and neuropathies.
To date, stimulation sites have included the ventroposterolateral thalamus and the periaqueductal grey region. Motor cortex stimulation has been proposed for the treatment of chronic pain Lefaucheur et al. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus has had a landmark effect in Parkinson's disease, but its effects on pain processing also seem potentially useful. In one study, chronic pain was reduced following deep brain stimulation, but pain sensitivity to quantitative sensory testing was unaltered Gierthmuhlen et al.
In another study, early pain relief was observed in 20 of 23 patients Kim et al. Neuroimaging studies have suggested that deep brain stimulation targeting the ipsilateral posterior inferior hypothalamus might be effective for chronic cluster headache; this is now an established treatment for intractable cases Leone, ; Leone et al. Motor cortex stimulation is another intracranial approach that has been used to treat refractory neuropathic pain Lefaucheur et al.
Given the interactions between sensory and motor systems and the fact that pain may inhibit motor cortex function patients may limit their movement Farina et al. A relatively recent approach is the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation for chronic pain Lefaucheur, , migraine Lipton and Pearlman, , spinal cord injury pain Defrin et al.
Experimental use in neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease Bentwich et al. In Parkinson's disease Baumer et al. Further studies are needed to determine its potential clinical utility in neurological diseases with pain. Specific pharmacotherapies developed for many of these neurological conditions have been assessed for their ability to treat chronic pain Finnerup et al. The most notably successful are the anti-epilepsy drugs, but antidepressants, membrane stabilizers and opioids have also been used to treat chronic pain, with varying levels of success.
Given our new understanding that alterations in grey matter volume correlate with chronic pain, recent trials have investigated drugs with the potential to modify putative underlying disease mechanisms. The major categories of drugs that have been assayed are neuroprotectants, including the excitatory neurotransmitter antagonists e. NMDA , and agonists of inhibitory neurotransmitter systems e. Amantidine is a drug originally used in Parkinson's disease. A derivative, memantine, an NMDA antagonist, has been marketed for treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders Sonkusare et al.
Another example, d -cycloserine, an antibiotic, is a partial agonist of the NMDA receptor. It has been used in preclinical models of CNS degeneration Ogawa et al. Riluzole, an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, can reverse pain behaviour in spinal cord injured rats Hama and Sagen, It is thought to act by inhibiting glutamate release.
Other examples of therapies directed at primary neurological disease that may be useful for pain include: It has been used in preclinical models of Huntington's disease Smith et al. It has effects in a number of preclinical CNS-related disease models including chronic pain Sweitzer and De Leo, The use of CT or MRI to direct delivery of small amounts of drugs to specific regions or nerves for pain control is gaining increased attention in preclinical models.
The amount of drug delivered is small enough that it has no systemic effect. For example, when injected into a nerve in very small quantities, adriamycin can provide pain relief through retrograde transport and killing of the dorsal root ganglion cells of the specific nerves affected Grant et al. Another example is the use of small volumes of agents that specifically knock out C-pain fibres. One such agent is resniferatoxin, a capsaicin analogue that inactivates sensory neurons by binding to the vanilloid TRPV1 receptor and producing a calcium influx Bates et al.
Although clearly not a preferred solution since it destroys the sensory neurons, targeted delivery of such an agent may be used to control pain in certain conditions, such as cancer affecting the face, when other efforts have failed. Another possible future application of this kind of approach is the targeted treatment of schwannomas based on newly defined preclinical developments Saydam et al. A major issue in pain diagnosis and research is the lack of an objective measurement of pain.
Even in patients able to report subjective pain ratings, these are clearly insufficient Victor et al. In cases where patients cannot communicate, the problem is even more complex. There is an urgent need to develop biomarkers for pain. The search for reliable markers of chronic pain has focused on a number of approaches. Questionnaires that have been used in the evaluation of chronic pain attempt to also determine changes that occur in addition to changes in pain intensity [e.
Tools adopted from the psychiatric literature, which can be used to evaluate other dimensions of chronic pain, including quality of life, depression, anxiety, catastrophizing and drug-abuse potential, are being included in chronic pain evaluation because of the multi-dimensional nature of the condition Haythornthwaite, These neurophysiological approaches aim to provide a differentiated assessment based on underlying pathophysiology that may include measures of sensitization, abnormal fibre type, sensory loss etc.
Few of these assessment tools are routinely used in current clinical settings. Aside from diffusion tensor imaging that is currently employed in many institutions to evaluate alterations in white matter integrity, two current imaging technologies may soon be in the clinic for evaluation of patients with pain. The first is measures of grey matter and the second is resting state networks. A defining article by Apkarian et al. Since then a number of groups have reported such changes in various neurological conditions including trigeminal neuropathy DaSilva et al.
While it is not yet well-understood, the finding that the grey matter changes revert towards normal with treatment is highly intriguing Rodriguez-Raecke et al. A second approach with potential utility in the clinic is evaluation of resting state networks Greicius et al. Such networks can differ in disease states Chen et al. If methodological issues can be ironed out in terms of how best to evaluate the multiple resting state networks of health and disease, the approach is potentially of high value in the clinic as it does not require any intervention with patients during scanning procedures.
Figure 5 summarizes integrative approaches for evaluating pain. Of these, imaging has taken the stage in its ability to evaluate functional, morphological and chemical changes in disease states and provide a new window of understanding disease neurobiology related to chronic pain. The successful development of drug analgesic and disease neuropathic pain brain signatures and subsequently the validation as biomarkers would allow for objective indices for clinical drug development and for clinical practice.
Since brain action provides a basis for behaviour pain or analgesia brain imaging holds the promise of defining potential makers that would need to then be shown to be sensitive, reproducible, validated and subsequently adopted by clinicians and regulatory agencies. A number of recent reviews have addressed the current state of imaging the brain state in pain and its potential in providing objective measures of drug and other therapeutic measures Tracey and Mantyh, ; Apkarian, ; Borsook and Becerra, Most neurologists treat patients with chronic pain, but few specialize in the discipline.
In fact, when neurologists rate their preference for treating diseases, chronic pain ranks low with the exception of migraine, which ranks high Evans and Evans, The reasons for this may include: Thus, there is a high unmet need for chronic pain treatment and for more research into the underlying mechanisms of pain diseases.
With current technological advances and investigation into mechanism-based treatment approaches Finnerup, , we are at a critical juncture in pain research. However, progress will remain slow unless we fully recognize pain as a brain disease and increase the involvement of neurologists in the treatment of and research into chronic pain.
The first step towards this goal is to include a comprehensive survey of pain conditions, management and research as part of the standard training of new neurologists. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Published online Nov 8. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. For Permissions, please email: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Introduction Recent advances in basic and clinical neuroscience suggest the brain plays a pivotal role in the chronic pain state. Open in a separate window. Table 1 Pain and neurological diseases. Pain present in most Aghakhani et al. Hyperaesthesia Milhorat et al. Typical neuropathic pain Hatem et al. Often present van Doorn et al.
Acute chronic neuropathic paraesthesias Numbness van Doorn et al. Mononeuropathy multiplex Verma, Understanding potential links between pain pathophysiology and neurological disease Recent advances have greatly increased our understanding of pain mechanisms.
Neurological diseases and pain This section discusses examples of neurological diseases that have pain as a co-existing or co-morbid process. Central nervous system degenerative diseases Parkinson's disease and pain Parkinson's disease is perhaps the best example of co-morbid pain as an integral part of a neurodegenerative disease.
Alzheimer's disease and pain Pain processing may be altered in dementias Scherder et al. Huntington's disease and pain The prevalence of pain in Huntington's disease is unknown. Ataxia and pain Machado—Joseph disease is the most common spinocerebellar ataxia, also known as spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 Rub et al.
Central nervous system damage Stroke It is well-documented that strokes affecting the CNS, particularly the structures along the spino-thalamocortico-tract spinothalamic tract, lateral thalamus, thalamic—parietal projections , produce central pain syndromes central post-stroke pain Bowsher et al.
Syringomyelia Syringomyelia and its sister disorder, syringobulbia, are disorders associated with Arnold—Chiari malformation Koyanagi and Houkin, or spinal cord trauma Schurch et al.
Traumatic brain injury Multiple pain syndromes have been described in different patients following traumatic brain injury with diffuse axonal injury Raghupathi and Margulies, , including neuropathic pain, central pain, and thalamic pain Formisano et al. Tumours and pain Neurofibromatosis Neurofibromatosis is an autosomal dominant neurocutaneous disorder subdivided into neurofibromatosis 1 NF1 , neurofibromatosis 2 NF2 and schwannomatosis Lu-Emerson and Plotkin, Peripherally initiated changes in central nervous system pain processing Each of the three clinical examples presented in this section provides insight into how changes in peripheral pain pathways impact CNS pain processing.
Complex regional pain syndrome Perhaps no pain condition represents the centralization of pain more clearly than complex regional pain syndrome CRPS; Janig and Baron, ; Bruehl, Congenital insensitivity to pain This is a rare and severe autosomal recessive condition Rosemberg et al.
Brain-based restorative approaches for chronic pain Despite trials of a number of approaches, chronic pain is largely refractory to treatment.
Motor training Motor and sensory systems are well integrated Flor and Diers, Central nervous system lesions—do they inform us more than they provide effective pain control? Brain stimulation Stimulation techniques, whether extracranial e. Centrally active drugs developed for neurological disease and their potential role in pain therapeutics Specific pharmacotherapies developed for many of these neurological conditions have been assessed for their ability to treat chronic pain Finnerup et al.
Smart treatments—targeting through localized delivery The use of CT or MRI to direct delivery of small amounts of drugs to specific regions or nerves for pain control is gaining increased attention in preclinical models.
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Neurological Diseases & Disorders A-Z from NINDS
Your nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Learn about neurologic diseases, including their symptoms, causes, and. Neurological disorders are diseases that affect the brain and the central and autonomic nervous systems. In recognizing the signs and symptoms of neurological. Neurological Physiotherapy for Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Traumatic Brain Injury, Dystonia and many other neurological disorders.