Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and forcefully hits an object, or when an object punctures the skull and enters brain tissue.
Anyone with symptoms of moderate or severe TBI should receive immediate medical attention. Because little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, medical personnel try to stabilize the individual with TBI and focus on preventing further injury.
Click to read more about traumatic brain injury from the American Academy of Neurology.
Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.
During normal sleep, our bodies cycle through REM and four stages of non-REM (NREM. When our bodies are repeatedly interrupted and can’t cycle through these types and stages of sleep normally, our bodies may feel tired, fatigued, and we may experience trouble concentrating and paying attention while awake.
Sleep treatment is different for every sleep disorder, but your doctor will perform a checkup and try to get to the root of why your sleep is being disrupted.
Click to read more about sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome from the American Academy of Neurology.
Nerve Injuries/ Damage
With nerve damage, or nerve injuries, there can be a wide array of symptoms. Which one an individual may have, depends on the location and type of nerves that are affected. Damage can occur to nerves in the brain and spinal cord. They can also occur in the peripheral nerves, which are located throughout the rest of the body.
There are more than 100 different types of nerve damage. The various types may have different symptoms and may require different types of treatment. The following are some of the possible causes of nerve pain and nerve damage: autoimmune dieses, cancer, compression/trauma, diabetes, drug side effects, motor neuron disease, nutritional deficiencies, and infectious disease.
Headache / Migraine
When headaches occur three or more times a month, preventive treatment is usually recommended. Drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reduction and elimination of certain foods from the diet are the most common methods of preventing and controlling migraine and other vascular headaches.
The most common type of headache is a migraine. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach and disturbed vision. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches. Not all headaches require medical attention, but some are indicators of more serious disorders and call for immediate medical attention.
Click to read more about headache and migraine from the American Academy of Neurology.
Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease
Individuals with dementia have significantly impaired intellectual functioning that interferes with their normal activities and relationships. They also lose their ability to solve problems and maintain emotional control, and they may experience personality changes and behavioral problems, such as anxiety, delusions and hallucinations.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related, non-reversible brain disorder that develops over a period of years. Initially, people experience memory loss and confusion, which may be mistaken for the kinds of memory changes that are sometimes associated with aging. However, the symptoms of AD slowly lead to behavior and personality changes, a decline in cognitive abilities, such as decision-making and language skills, and problems recognizing family and friends. AD ultimately leads to a severe loss of mental function.
Click to read more about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease from the American Academy of Neurology.
The epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to ones that are much more benign. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, behaviors, and sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity—from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development—can lead to seizures.
While epilepsy cannot be cured, the seizures can be controlled for some with medication, diet, devices, and/or surgery. Most seizures do not cause brain damage, but ongoing uncontrolled seizures may cause brain damage. It is not uncommon for people with epilepsy, especially children, to develop behavioral and emotional problems in conjunction with seizures.
Click to read more about epilepsy from the American Academy of Neurology.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that can range from relatively benign, to somewhat disabling, to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body are disrupted.
A physician may diagnose MS in some patients soon after the onset of the illness. In others, doctors may not be able to readily identify the cause of the symptoms.
Click to read more about multiple sclerosis from the American Academy of Neurology.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks
PD is both chronic, meaning it persists over a long period of time, and progressive, meaning its symptoms grow worse over time. Although some people become severely disabled, others experience only minor motor disruptions.
Click to read more about Parkinson’s disease from the American Academy of Neurology.
Stroke / Stroke Prevention
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they can no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood, or if there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.
The symptoms of a stroke include: sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding of speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headaches with no known cause.
Generally, there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual’s underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation and diabetes.
Click to read more about stroke from the American Academy of Neurology.
Brain/ Spinal Cord Tumors
Brain and spinal cord 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 three most commonly used treatments are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors may also recommend steroids to reduce the swelling inside the CNS.
Symptoms of brain and spinal cord tumors generally develop slowly and worsen over time unless they are treated. The tumor may be classified as benign or malignant, and is then given a numbered score that reflects how malignant it is. This score can help doctors conclude how to treat the tumor and predict the likely outcome, or diagnosis, for the patient.
Click to read more about brain and spinal tumors from the American Academy of Neurology.