MBBS, DNB - Neurosurgery, Fellowship in Neurosurgery
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What are the most common neurological disorders?
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The word neurological disorder has a terrifying feeling to it. What most people don t realize is that even cluster headaches and migraines fall under this umbrella. Anything to do with the neurological system, ranging from headaches to complete memory loss comes under this ambit. While some of them like dementia and Parkinson s are degenerative in nature, others like epilepsy and Bell s palsy are structural in nature. Neurological disorders are a mysterious lot and while there may not be the definitive cure, the onset and/or progress can be managed.
Neurological disorders are always related to age
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While structural or degenerative changes cannot be completely changed, the external influencing factors can definitely be changed. These include exposure to toxic chemicals, smoking, processed foods, lack of exercise and other things that are not considered healthy. A healthy lifestyle improves the quality of life, and that applies for the brain too. Compare brain health between two people (one healthy and another not-so-healthy) and see the difference for yourself. You would be tempted to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
What are some structural neurological disorders?
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When we say structural, it means there is a small portion of the brain which controls a particular body activity that is affected. For instance, in epilepsy, the firing of the nerves is affected, and there is continuous firing which leads to convulsions. Similarly with ataxia or GBS. While the symptoms in these cases can be considered, sometimes surgery may help in definitive cure. Knowing if a neurological disorder is a structural problem helps in planning treatment and cure.
Neurological disorders can be managed through lifestyle changes
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Structural abnormalities will not reverse through lifestyle changes. Degeneration cannot be arrested, but can definitely be slowed, and if already set in, progress can be arrested through lifestyle changes. There are brain-healthy foods which can help. Exercise definitely helps. Quitting alcohol and smoking helps. Following a healthy lifestyle ensures overall health, in particular, brain health also improves and helps avoid neurological disorders.
What are some degenerative neurological disorders?
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Like any other body organ, the brain also undergoes degeneration with age, and there are a lot of changes that come along with it. Depending on a person s lifestyle and other environmental factors, the degenerative disorders manifest at a particular point in a person s life. These are characterized by a gradual slowing in a person s movement and coordination and decline in cognitive functions, memory, etc. Most of these are also familial in nature. There are early warning signs of each of these disorders, so if there is a strong positive family history, it is advisable to watch out to enable early intervention.