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Common Neurological Disorders

In 2006, the World Health Organization estimated that neurological disorders and their related disorders affect as many as one billion people worldwide. Thankfully, Holy Family Hospital’s neurology department is amply capable of treating most neurological problems. Some of our most commonly treated cases are for:

Acute and Chronic Strokes
A stoke is a dangerous cerebrovascular condition that is characterized by rapidly developing loss of brain functions. This may be caused by reduced blood supply to the brain (ie ischemic stroke due to an embolism or thrombosis) or a leakage of blood in the skull (ie hemorrhagic stroke). As one of the leading causes of death in the world, stroke cases are fairly common. Individuals with the highest risks of stroke are those with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, carotid artery disease, heart disease, smokers, drinkers, and the obese. Click here to find out how you can reduce your risks.

Symptoms
Stroke symptoms may manifest themselves in a sudden loss of the ability to smile, to speak or understand speech or to move one’s arms and/or limbs. Holy Family Hospital’s neurology department is well equipped to handle stroke cases and past experience has shown that treatment is most effective in the first 3 hours of stoke symptoms, with patients recovering complete bodily functions. Click here for a full list of stroke symptoms and learn how to identify stroke symptoms today!

Treatment
As a stroke is a medical emergency, time is of prime importance in diagnosis and treatment. The quicker a stroke patient is hospitalized, the higher are their chances of making a complete recovery. Click here to learn the warning signs of a stroke now!

Unexplained & Recurring Headaches
Headaches are our most common form of pain. But pain, of any kind, is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Hence, recurrent headaches may serve as a pointer or a symptom of a more deep-seated neurological problem. Although common headaches can be normal and harmless if they are due to lack of sleep, dehydration, eye strain, hormonal imbalances, consumption of aspartame, caffeine, MSG or nicotine, sensory overload (through intense sound, light and smells) or excessive physical or mental stress. However, if you have persistent, recurring headaches without a known cause, there is a possibility of a more serious neurological condition like space-occupying intracranial lesions such as neoplasm or abscess, subarachnoid hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, meningitis, or encephalitis, please make an appointment with a neurologist immediately.

Epilepsy and Epileptic Seizures
Click here to visit the page on Epilepsy.

Status Epilepticus
Status Epilepticus, which is essentially a persistent or continuous seizure, is a life-threatening neurological emergency. Medical practitioners suggest that Status Epilepticus is defined as any seizure that lasts longer that 5 minutes and does not resolve simultaneously within 3-5 minutes or recurrent seizures without regaining consciousness between seizures for greater than 30 minutes. Since the mortality rate for Status Epilepticus is quite high, an ambulance should be called for seizures lasting longer than 5 minutes.

CNS infections
The blood–brain barrier, a cellular and metabolic barrier of circulating blood and the brain extra-cellular fluid, acts very effectively to protect the brain from many common bacterial infections. This barrier maintains a compartmentalization between the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and the blood circulating in the body. Since pathogens can’t pass though, infections of the brain are very rare. Unfortunately, antibiotics and antibodies are also too large to cross the blood–brain barrier, making uncommon infections of the brain very serious and difficult to treat.

When viral pathogens, bacteria, fungi or protozoa manage to cross the blood-brain barrier; the result is an infection of the Central Nervous System. Of these CNS infections, meningitis, encephalitis, Lyme disease and brain abscesses are the most common CNS infections. Encephalitis or a similar CNS infection may also develop due to the progression of another infectious disease like malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, herpes simplex virus, rabies, measles, mumps or AIDS. CNS infections are potentially life-threatening and have a high mortality rate if untreated; hence treatment with wide-spectrum antibiotics & steroids as well as symptomatic treatment is mandatory.

Encephalitis
Encephalitis is in inflammation (swelling or irritation) of the brain. Most often, encephalitis is caused by an infection or a virus. It may also be caused by an allergic reaction to vaccinations, an autoimmune disease, bacteria or parasites that enter the CNS or as an effect of cancer. Although this is a very rare condition, it is extremely dangerous and must be treated as soon as it is diagnosed. Unfortunately, children, the elderly and patients with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to encephalitis.

In children, some of encephalitis symptoms to watch out occurs are vomiting, a full or bulging soft spot on the head (fontanel), crying that doesn't stop or that seems to worsen when the infant is handled and generalized body stiffness. Adults might be able to report symptoms like fever, headache, poor appetite, loss of energy & a general sick feeling in milder cases. Or, in more severe cases, patients might show more distressing symptoms like severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, hallucinations and even coma. Encephalitis is a very serious, debilitating situation & must be treated by a neurologist as soon as possible.

Holy Family also treats other neurological problem like:

  • Degenerative Brain Diseases (Alzeimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, etc.)
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (Chronic pain)
  • Neuromuscular Diseases (like AIDP ie GB syndrome)
  • Myoneural Junction Diseases (such as Myasthenia Gravis)
  • Post Head Injury
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hemiplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Neuro-oncology
    • Neurofibromatosis
    • Von Hippel-Lindau Disease (VHL)
    • Brain Tumours
  • Neuro-immunology
    • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuro-otology
    • Meniere's disease
  • Pediatric Neurology
    • Autism
    • Dyslexia
  • Aphasia
  • Phobias
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Note: The information provided here is for informational purposes only; this advice is not to be used as expert medical opinion. Please visit Holy Family Hospital and consult our neurologists for a medical advice.
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