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What are the Most Common Nervous System Ailments?

By K. Gierok
Updated May 17, 2024
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The nervous system performs an important role in the body. It is responsible for a number of essential processes, including breathing, digestion, and even maintaining a normal heart rate. When the nervous system begins to malfunction, the results are often very serious. Some examples of common nervous system ailments include conditions such as seizure disorders, neuropathy, and neuroimmunologic disorders. In addition, fainting is a common ailment of the nervous system. While fainting is not life threatening, it may indicate other, more serious disorders.

One of the most common nervous system ailments are seizure disorders. Typically, seizures occur when there is a disruption in the pathway to electrical impulses in the brain. While seizures are often considered to fall under one umbrella diagnosis, they can, in fact,vary quite dramatically. Absence seizures are a type of seizure that produce only a short period of unconsciousness. In contrast, grand mal seizures result when an individual affected with the condition experiences full body convulsions. These different types of seizures require various forms of treatment, none of which are the same.

Neuropathy is another example of common nervous system ailments. Neuropathy is actually quite serious, and can even be life-threatening in some cases. Neuropathy occurs when the nerves of the body have been damaged, and thus the signal that these nerves transmit does not reach the brain. Failing to transmit certain nerve signals to the brain can result in decreased functioning of the heart, inability to dilate blood vessels, and can lead to severe shortness of breath. The causes of neuropathy are still relatively unknown. Most researchers believe that certain medications can lead to the development of neuropathy. In addition, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic conditions may also be to blame.

Nervous system ailments also include a variety of different types of neuroimmunologic disorders. As the name suggests, nueroimmunologic disorders are caused by inflammation of the nervous system. One of the most common examples of neuroimmunologic disorders is multiple sclerosis. This condition results when the immune system of the body attacks itself. Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disorder that often gets worse with time.

Finally, while fainting seems like a relatively mild condition, it is actually caused by a decreased ability of the nervous system to function properly. While fainting typically is not life threatening on its own, it often can indicate more serious nervous system ailments.

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Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Jul 16, 2014

Spinal cord injuries are way too common. When I see someone who is paralyzed I automatically think that they probably suffered some type of traumatic accident, like a car wreck for example. This is true for many people, but once you learn more about the anatomy of the human body you realize that paralysis is often caused by disease rather than an accident that cuts or damages the spinal cord.

I have a friend who is having problems with movement because her nervous system is not working like it is supposed to, and she has not been in an accident. Her doctors are still trying to figure out what is going on..

By Drentel — On Jul 15, 2014

A lot of people have nerve damage and they never realize what is going on because the symptoms aren't always so serious that you are very worried, and sometimes you just assume some other minor ailment is causing the problems you are having.

In her mid to late forties, my mother began to have problems with her feet. They would swell and she would say they felt like they were on fire. This went on for a number of years and she never knew what was causing the sensations. The foot problems became just something she put up with and she contributed the problems to simply getting older.

She went on with the foot problems until she was in her sixties. That's when she had a series of minor strokes and that's when the doctors did a long list of tests and determined that she had nervous system and brain damage. The burning in her feet had been caused by nerve damage that had been around for a long time. The brain damage was caused by the strokes.

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