Central nervous system disease
|Central Nervous System Disease|
|Classification and external resources|
|eMedicine||system/topic.htm nervous system/|
Central nervous system diseases, also known as central nervous system disorders, are disorders of the structure or function of either the spinal cord (e.g., a myelopathy) or brain (e.g., an encephalopathy), both of which are part of the central nervous system.
- 1 Functions
- 2 Types of disease
- 2.1 Addiction
- 2.2 Arachnoid cysts
- 2.3 Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- 2.4 Bipolar disorder
- 2.5 Catalepsy
- 2.6 Depression
- 2.7 Encephalitis
- 2.8 Epilepsy/Seizures
- 2.9 Locked-in syndrome
- 2.10 Meningitis
- 2.11 Migraine
- 2.12 Multiple sclerosis
- 2.13 Myelopathy
- 2.14 Neurodegenerative disorders
- 2.15 Tourette's
- 2.16 Tropical spastic paraparesis
- 3 Causes
- 4 Signs and symptoms
- 5 Treatments
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The spinal cord transmits sensory reception from the peripheral nervous system.  It also conducts motor information to the body's skeletal muscles, cardiac muscles, smooth muscles, and glands There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves along the spinal cord. These nerves each contain both sensory and motor axons. The spinal cord is protected by vertebrae and connects the peripheral nervous system to the brain, and it acts as a "minor" coordinating center.
It allows the body to function. The brain is protected by the skull; however, if the brain is damaged, the results to the human body can be very consequential.
Types of disease
|This section is missing information about myelopathy and a number of brain disorders that not currently listed here. (July 2016)|
Addiction is a disorder of the brain's reward system which arises through transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms and occurs over time from chronically high levels of exposure to an addictive stimulus (e.g., morphine, cocaine, sexual intercourse, gambling, etc.).
Arachnoid cysts are cerebrospinal fluid covered by arachnoidal cells that may develop on the brain or spinal cord. They are a congenital disorder, and in some cases may not show symptoms. However, if there is a large cyst, symptoms may include headache, seizures, ataxia (lack of muscle control), hemiparesis, and several others. Macrocephaly and ADHD are common among children, while presenile dementia, hydrocephalus (an abnormality of the dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid), and urinary incontinence are symptoms for elderly patients (65 and older).
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD (often highly debated & controversial) is now largely considered to be a genuine organic disorder of the nervous system, according to the United States government. ADHD, which in severe cases can be debilitating, has symptoms thought to be caused by structural as well as biochemical imbalances in the brain; in particular, low levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for controlling and maintaining attention and movement. Many people with ADHD continue to have symptoms well into adulthood. Also of note is an increased risk of the development of Dementia with Lewy bodies, or (DLB), & a direct genetic association of Attention deficit disorder to Parkinson's disease two progressive, and serious, neurological diseases whose symptoms often occur in people over age 65.
Bipolar disorder is a serious illness of the nervous system. Symptoms can include both signs of major depression & mania. Mood swings from the highs of mania to the lows of deep depression usually occurs over several weeks to months. New research suggests that bipolar disorder is actually a neurological disease genetically related to Parkinson's disease
Catalepsy is a nervous disorder characterized by immobility and muscular rigidity, along with a decreased sensitivity to pain. Catalepsy is considered a symptom of serious diseases of the nervous system (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Epilepsy, etc.) rather than a disease by itself. Cataleptic fits can range in duration from several minutes to weeks. Catalepsy often responds to Benzodiazepines (e.g., Lorazepam) in pill & I.V. form.
Major depressive disorder, otherwise known as depression, is a disorder that is characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. It is usually caused by a foreign substance or a viral infection. Symptoms of this disease include headache, neck pain, drowsiness, nausea, and fever. If caused by the West Nile virus, it may be lethal to humans, as well as birds and horses.
Epilepsy is an unpredictable, serious, and potentially fatal disorder of the nervous system, thought to be the result of faulty electrical activity in the brain. Epileptic seizures result from abnormal, excessive, or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain. About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly 80% of epilepsy occurs in developing countries. Epilepsy becomes more common as people age. Onset of new cases occurs most frequently in infants and the elderly. Epileptic seizures may occur in recovering patients as a consequence of brain surgery.
A medical condition, Locked-in syndrome usually resulting from a stroke that damages part of the brainstem, in which the body and most of the facial muscles are paralysed but consciousness remains and the ability to perform certain eye movements is preserved.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges (membranes) of the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck are all symptoms of meningitis.
A chronic, often debilitating neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches, often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory demyelinating disease, meaning that the myelin sheath of neurons is damaged. Symptoms of MS include visual and sensation problems, muscle weakness,numbness and tingling all over, muscle spasms, poor coordination, and depression. Also patients with MS have reported extreme fatigue and dizziness, tremors, and bladder leakage.
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Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease typically found in people over the age of 65 years. Worldwide, approximately 24 million people have dementia; 60% of these cases are due to Alzheimer’s. The ultimate cause is unknown. The clinical sign of Alzheimer's is progressive cognition deterioration.
Huntington's disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that is inherited. Degeneration of neuronal cells occurs throughout the brain, especially in the striatum. There is a progressive decline that results in abnormal movements. Statistics show that Huntington's disease may affect 10 per 100,000 people of Western European descent.
Parkinson's disease, or PD, is a progressive illness of the nervous system. Caused by the death of dopamine-producing brain cells that affect motor skills and speech. Symptoms may include bradykinesia (slow physical movement), muscle rigidity, and tremors. Behavior, thinking, sensation disorders, and the sometimes co-morbid skin condition Seborrheic dermatitis are just some of PD's numerous nonmotor symptoms. Parkinson's disease, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) & Bi-polar disorder, all appear to have some connection to one another, as all three nervous system disorders involve lower than normal levels of the brain chemical dopamine(In ADHD, Parkinson's, & the depressive phase of Bi-polar disorder.) or too much dopamine(In,Mania or Manic states of Bi-polar disorder.) in different areas of the brain:
Tourette's syndrome is an inherited neurological disorder. Early onset may be during childhood, and it is characterized by physical and verbal tics. The exact cause of Tourette's, other than genetic factors, is unknown.
Tropical spastic paraparesis
Any type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or injury done to the spinal cord can result in a wide spectrum of disabilities in a person. Depending on the section of the brain or spinal cord that suffers the trauma, the outcome may be anticipated.
Infectious diseases are transmitted in several ways. Some of these infections may affect the brain or spinal cord directly. Generally, an infection is a disease that is caused by the invasion of a microorganism or virus.
Degenerative spinal disorders involve a loss of function in the spine. Pressure on the spinal cord and nerves may be associated with herniation or disc displacement. Brain degeneration also causes central nervous system diseases. Studies have shown that obese people may have severe degeneration in the brain due to loss of tissue affecting cognition.
Common structural defects include birth defects, anencephaly, hypospadias, and spina bifida. Children born with structural defects may have malformed limbs, heart problems, and facial abnormalities.
A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. In the beginning, tumors can be noncancerous, but if they become malignant, they are cancerous. In general, they appear when there is a problem with cellular division. Problems with the body's immune system can lead to tumors.
An autoimmune disorder is a condition where in the immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. This is caused by a loss of tolerance to proteins in the body, resulting in immune cells recognising these as 'foreign' and directing an immune response against them.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to the brain. Approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke. This is can happen when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot or when a blood vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak to the brain. If the brain cannot get enough oxygen and blood, brain cells can die, leading to permanent damage.
Signs and symptoms
Every disease has different signs and symptoms. Some of them are persistent headache; pain in the face, back, arms, or legs; an inability to concentrate; loss of feeling; memory loss; loss of muscle strength; tremors; seizures; increased reflexes, spasticity, tics; paralysis; and slurred speech. One should seek medical attention if affected by these.
There is a wide range of treatments for central nervous system diseases. These can range from surgery to rehabilitation or prescribed medications.
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Neuroimmune dysregulation is a common phenomenon in different forms of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Cross-links between central and peripheral immune mechanisms appear to be disrupted as reflected by a series of immune markers (CD3, CD4, CD7, HLA-DR, CD25, CD28, and CD56) which show variability in brain disorders such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, migraine, epilepsy, vascular dementia, mental retardation, cerebrovascular encephalopathy, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, cranial nerve neuropathies, mental retardation, and posttraumatic brain injury.
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The strong correlation between chronic drug exposure and ΔFosB provides novel opportunities for targeted therapies in addiction (118), and suggests methods to analyze their efficacy (119). Over the past two decades, research has progressed from identifying ΔFosB induction to investigating its subsequent action (38). It is likely that ΔFosB research will now progress into a new era – the use of ΔFosB as a biomarker. ...
ΔFosB is an essential transcription factor implicated in the molecular and behavioral pathways of addiction following repeated drug exposure. The formation of ΔFosB in multiple brain regions, and the molecular pathway leading to the formation of AP-1 complexes is well understood. The establishment of a functional purpose for ΔFosB has allowed further determination as to some of the key aspects of its molecular cascades, involving effectors such as GluR2 (87,88), Cdk5 (93) and NFkB (100). Moreover, many of these molecular changes identified are now directly linked to the structural, physiological and behavioral changes observed following chronic drug exposure (60,95,97,102). New frontiers of research investigating the molecular roles of ΔFosB have been opened by epigenetic studies, and recent advances have illustrated the role of ΔFosB acting on DNA and histones, truly as a ‘‘molecular switch’’ (34). As a consequence of our improved understanding of ΔFosB in addiction, it is possible to evaluate the addictive potential of current medications (119), as well as use it as a biomarker for assessing the efficacy of therapeutic interventions (121,122,124). Some of these proposed interventions have limitations (125) or are in their infancy (75). However, it is hoped that some of these preliminary findings may lead to innovative treatments, which are much needed in addiction.
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Functional neuroimaging studies in humans have shown that gambling (Breiter et al, 2001), shopping (Knutson et al, 2007), orgasm (Komisaruk et al, 2004), playing video games (Koepp et al, 1998; Hoeft et al, 2008) and the sight of appetizing food (Wang et al, 2004a) activate many of the same brain regions (i.e., the mesocorticolimbic system and extended amygdala) as drugs of abuse (Volkow et al, 2004). ... Cross-sensitization is also bidirectional, as a history of amphetamine administration facilitates sexual behavior and enhances the associated increase in NAc DA ... As described for food reward, sexual experience can also lead to activation of plasticity-related signaling cascades. The transcription factor delta FosB is increased in the NAc, PFC, dorsal striatum, and VTA following repeated sexual behavior (Wallace et al., 2008; Pitchers et al., 2010b). This natural increase in delta FosB or viral overexpression of delta FosB within the NAc modulates sexual performance, and NAc blockade of delta FosB attenuates this behavior (Hedges et al, 2009; Pitchers et al., 2010b). Further, viral overexpression of delta FosB enhances the conditioned place preference for an environment paired with sexual experience (Hedges et al., 2009). ... In some people, there is a transition from “normal” to compulsive engagement in natural rewards (such as food or sex), a condition that some have termed behavioral or non-drug addictions (Holden, 2001; Grant et al., 2006a). ... In humans, the role of dopamine signaling in incentive-sensitization processes has recently been highlighted by the observation of a dopamine dysregulation syndrome in some patients taking dopaminergic drugs. This syndrome is characterized by a medication-induced increase in (or compulsive) engagement in non-drug rewards such as gambling, shopping, or sex (Evans et al, 2006; Aiken, 2007; Lader, 2008)."
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