Nervous System Disorders and Diseases

There have been identified a number of mild and severe disorders that affect or completely damage different important organs of your nervous system, thus leading to unbearable disturbances in the overall functioning of your body. Some of these nervous system diseases can be treated quite easily with the help of medication or the adaptation of preventive measures, while the others are acute or chronic and last for longer durations. Anyhow, in case of being an unfortunate victim of any such disorders, you need not worry a bit because early diagnosis and timely treatment result in the quick and perfect treatment of that particular disease. Let’s have a look at the comprehensive description of different possible disorders of the nervous system, so that you may have an understanding and take appropriate measures to avoid them.


It is a general term that refers to the progressive decline in an individual’s overall intellectual ability and is characterized by the deterioration of abstract thinking and language, impaired judgment, memory loss and drastic personality changes. Depending on particular underlying causes and severity of the condition, this nervous system disease may be reversible (curable or treatable) or even irreversible (not curable).

Some of the common reasons include a series of tiny strokes (infarcts), coronary heart disease, diabetes, chronic blood pressure, Pick’s disease, alcohol abuse, brain tumors, AIDS, and so on. After its accurate diagnosis with the help of patient's history, blood tests and the test of mental status, you can go for its timely treatment with drug administration and other possible measures.

Alzheimer's Disease

Resulting from the progressive degeneration of neurons or nerve cells in some parts of the brain that are associated with the processing of cognitive information, this nervous system disorder involves the symptoms of short-term memory loss, increasing forgetfulness, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, failure to recognize friends and family, urinary and fecal incontinence, loss of ability to communicate verbally and impaired judgment.

The chances of the attack of this embarrassing disorder are increased as you reach the age of 65 and after this period about 10 out of 100 people in the world are found to be suffering from this brain disease. However, if you are suffering from Down syndrome, you are very likely to fall a victim to Alzheimer's disease even before the age of 65. Effective treatment measures include the administration of drugs, prescription of medications as well as supportive counseling.

Bell's Palsy

Characterized by the paralysis of muscles on one side of your face, it results from the swelling of the facial nerve that runs through a tiny hole in the bone between the jaw and the ear. As inflammation of the nerve compresses it inside the bony channel, the muscles between the forehead and mouth get paralyzed. Many physicians believe that treatment is unnecessary and ineffective as improvements and spontaneous recovery begin soon after onset of the disorder.

However, the patients are advised to consult their healthcare provider as soon as the symptoms start appearing because if treatment is started within 48 hours of the onset of the disorder, the medications like prednisone and lamcyclovir may prove to be very effective.


This rare inflammatory condition of brain is caused by a viral infection in which the causative agent (virus) directly attacks your brain as soon as it gets entry to the body through the bite of an infected mosquito or a tick. In severe case, the patient may experience even the paralysis of one side of the body, gradual loss of consciousness and the onset of coma that may persist for several days or weeks. In case of an unfortunate attack of encephalitis, your healthcare provide may suggest different treatment measures, such as the administration of antiviral, corticosteroid and anticonvulsant drugs along with other medications, like sedatives and pain relievers. In case the patient has also suffered from a lasting brain damage, they may require occupational, physical and speech therapies during the process of recovery.

Cluster Headaches

This, one of the highly disturbing nervous system disorders, is characterized by intense and steady pain around one eye that may last for 30 to 120 minutes (two hours) and may, occasionally, spread to affect entire side of the head. In severe cases, some other symptoms of cluster headaches may appear, such as, flushed face, swollen cheek, nasal blockage, watery eye, as well as bloodshot. Though there are no obvious causes, the substances that have been found to trigger the disease include nicotine, alcohol and nitroglycerine (used in the treatment of angina).

As an effective treatment measure, with the onset of such a painful episode, the patients are advised not to lie down and might be recommended the intake of 100 percent oxygen for five (5) to fifteen (15) minutes so that the pain may be relieved. The severe cases, which do not respond to medications and other therapies, may require the surgical removal of certain nerves near the site of headache.


Almost always caused by an infection, it is an inflammation of the three thin layers of tissue, called meanings that form a protective covering around your brain. However, in rare cases, tumors and exposure to certain chemical irritants may also lead to the symptoms of this disease. Some of the most common and obvious symptoms include severe headache, fever, stiff neck, vomiting and nausea, mental confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, drowsiness and the appearance of red skin rashes due to bleeding into the skin.

Depending on the causative agent, the disorder has been classified into different types, such as tubercular meningitis, fungal meningitis, bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis and each of these types needs respective treatment measures involving the use of antibiotics, over-the-counter pain relievers, antitubercular & antifungal medications, and corticosteroids, etc.

Multiple Sclerosis

Characterized by the destruction of the protective outer coverings of the nerves (called myelin sheaths) within the central nervous system, the disorder involves the symptoms of double vision, muscle spasms, eye pain, stiffness of muscles in the arms and legs, severe fatigue and slurred speech. In severe cases of multiple sclerosis, the patient may experience loss of memory, mental confusion, paralysis of one side of the face or even complete paralysis of the body.

In order to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of the attacks, your healthcare provide may prescribe the administration of oral as well as intravenous corticosteroids. Moreover, physical and occupational therapy, physiological counseling and the use of tranquilizers or antispasmodics might also be required by some patients, depending on the severity of the condition.

Muscular Dystrophy

It is general term that refers to a number of inherited disorders that result in the progressive weakness and wasting of the body muscles of the victim. The most common and severe type of this nervous system disorder is named as Duchenne’s Multiple Dystrophy (MD) in which a genetic defect result in the severe deletion of the muscle protein, called dystrophin. There is no specific treatment measure available to cure or halt the progression of this disease, but the administration of drugs and certain other therapies may relieve the symptoms and improve the quality of life.


Referring to a range of disorders, this abnormality of nervous system, usually, affects people over the age of 50 and is marked by the spasms of pain along the path of a nerve. Depending upon the severity and the particular types of nerves that are affected by it, the condition is given different names, such as trigeminal neuralgia, post-herpetic neuralgia, facial neuralgia, and so on.

Some of the most common symptoms include brief, staccato bursts of excruciating pain that typically lasts from a few seconds to a minute or two. Though neuralgia is very painful, it is not life threatening and can be treated by medications, topical cream or exploratory surgery. However, if a patient is suffering from multiple sclerosis, they have very possibility to be attacked by this disorder as well even before the age of 50.

Parkinson's Disease

Named after an English physician, the disease is caused by the progressive death of nerve cells or neurons within the gray matter in the brain (substantia nigra). With the onset of this degenerative disease of nervous system, the dopamine (a neurotransmitter) producing neurons are gradually deteriorated, resulting in the slowness, shaking, stiffness, and uncoordinated movements.

Some of the severe symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include emotional depression & anxiety, the loss of balance, drooling, stooped body posture, small & cramped handwriting, mental confusion, loss of memory, and so on. In early stages, if the symptoms are not interfering with the routine functioning of an individual, the treatment may not be necessary, but in severe cases different types of medications may be prescribed by your healthcare provider.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Copyrights Reserves 2013-2023 by