The nervous system is responsible for the control of the body and communication among its parts. It consists of the brain, the spinal chord, sensory organs, and all of the nerves that connect these organs to the rest of the body.
Brain + spinal chord = central nervous system (CNS)
Where the information is evaluated and the decisions are made.
Sensory nerves + sense organs = peripheral nervous system (PNS)
Monitors conditions inside and out of the body and sends the information to the CNS. Often, the nervous system suffers diseases or disorders. These problems may occur slowly and cause a gradual loss of function, or suddenly and cause life-threatening troubles. Below are a few of the many conditions that can hit the nervous system.
Disease Problem Cause Treatment
Alzheimer’s Disease Progressive, neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour. Not entirely known. Suspects include: age and family history, genes, abnormal protein deposits in the brain, and immune system problems. There is no cure and no way of slowing down this deteriorating disease but many researches are currently undergoing to try to find a cure.
Ataxia Failure of muscle control in the arms and legs resulting in a lack of balance and coordination. -Degeneration of the cells in the part of the brain called cerebellum.
-Low vitamin levels
-Exposure to a toxic drug or chemical. The use of adaptive devices; cane, wheelchair, crutches, walker. Also things such as physical/speech therapy and medications.
Bell’s Palsy Unexplained facial muscle weakness or paralysis that begins suddenly and worsens over three to five days. Unknown. Thought to be inherited. Associated with; diabetes, high blood pressure, trauma, infection, toxins… -Careful eye care
-Doctor will establish cure based on severity of condition; steroid/ antiviral medications, analgesics/moist heat, physical therapy.
Brain Tumours An abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. Can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) depending on their behaviour. Mostly due to abnormalities in genes, causing uncontrolled cell growth. These abnormalities are caused by alterations in genes or chromosome rearrangements. -Surgery
-Continuous follow-up care.
Cerebral Palsy A non-progressive disorder of movement coming from damage to the brain before, during or straight after birth. Caused by brain injury during a baby’s development in the womb.
-Infections during pregnancy.
-Physical and metabolic trauma of being born.
-Oxygen deprivation/ trauma to the head during delivery.
-RH incompatibility between mother and child. -Physiotherapy
-Medications for muscle stiffness
-Surgery; correct problems with bones and joints.
Multiple Sclerosis A chronic disease of the nervous system which can lead to loss of ability to write, speak, or walk. MS can be caused by viruses, autoimmune disorders, environmental factors, or genetic factors. -Medication
Disease Problem Cause Treatment
Parkinson’s Disease A disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. Specific cause is unknown but medics believe it is related to a chemical-imbalance