Neurological impairment refers to a broad group of disorders in which the central nervous system does not function properly and leads to some form of physical or mental problems. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. This type of impairment, which affects the brain or spinal cord, can have affect a wide range of different capabilities, from motor skills to memory. Cerebral palsy and Tourette’s syndrome are two common examples of neurological impairment; the first affects motor skills and the second involves both motor skills and speech skills.
Not all neurological impairments are present from birth. A neurological impairment can be acquired as a result of some form of brain or spinal cord injury. Often, the results are very similar; the only difference is the way in which a given part of the brain becomes damaged.
Because of its various forms, neurological impairment can be classified in many different ways. Childhood aphasia, for example, can be developed from birth or acquired because of some form of brain injury and is mostly involved with speech and language skills. Another classification, minimal brain dysfunction, involves neurological disorders that are related to learning and behavior. A third broad class is known as learning disability; it concerns disorders related to difficulties in general understanding and language comprehension.
The severity of a neurological impairment can vary greatly based on the severity of the disorder. Not all disorders involving cognition, for example, are the same. Some individuals possess reasoning and memory skills comparable to their peers but suffer some difficulties in new situations. Others, however, are unable to engage in even the simplest activities without aid and supervision because they lack the memory and reasoning skills necessary to be functional in everyday life.
Some forms of neurological impairment have been treated through a variety of different means with varying degrees of success. Some neurologically impaired individuals are able to gain some level of functionality through various forms of therapy, such as speech therapy and physical therapy. Medications can, in some cases, help individuals to overcome their disorders. In extreme cases, brain surgeries have been used to bypass neurological issues. This is especially true of individuals who have suffered brain damage; in some cases, the injuries they sustained can be repaired without too much difficulty.