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What Are the Most Common Nervous System Ailments?

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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Image By: J E Theriot
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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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.

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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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