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There Are Many Common Neurological And Genetic Disorders

May 26, 2019

Neurological disorders describe specific diseases of the spine, brain, and the nervous system that connects these major parts of the body. Because of how varied these conditions are, doctors may need to look into any variety of factors and conditions that may describe the disorder. Many of the most common disorders are also genetically linked. Those who have a family history of a specific disorder should be sure to speak with their medical professional to learn more about management and symptom prevention. Generally, mutations are tested according to multiple members of the family. If the medical professional is able to identify a telltale mutation, the family members who are most at risk may then be tested further. In those who tested positive, the risk to develop the specific neurological disorder is increased, while those who tested negative will only experience a risk common to the overall population. Genetic counseling may also be considered for those at risk. Learning more about the signs and symptoms of the most common neurological and genetic disorders can lead to more informed decisions in the future.

1 - Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is described as a progressive brain disorder that, over the course of years, destroys thinking and memory skills in the affected. In the majority of individuals who have this disorder, symptoms will first appear in the individual's mid-60s. Some of the most common symptoms include memory problems, though such symptoms may also be indicative of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. Individuals who have MCI are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but it is not always guaranteed. Other symptoms include declines in non-memory function. Things such as visual issues, spatial issues, impaired judgment, and impaired word identification may all signal early symptoms of the disorder.

2 - Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease, typically abbreviated as HD, affects the central nervous system. It is a hereditary disorder, and it often develops in adulthood. Symptoms are often wide in their scope and they include physical, emotional and mental signs of the issue. The disease is caused through the development of a faulty gene in chromosome 4. This gene produces a protein known as huntingtin and faulty production leads to irreversible damage to nerve cells in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia. Those born to parents of the illness typically have a 50–50 chance of developing the condition. Because of how far-reaching the symptoms are, many individuals may not even know that they have the disorder.

3 - Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the term used to describe a non communicable and chronic illness of the brain that is often defined by repeated seizures. These seizures involve brief periods of involuntary movement, either through a partial engagement of the body or an entire one. They may be followed by a loss of consciousness. The seizures themselves are caused by excessive electrical discharges within the brain, and epilepsy is one of the oldest recognized medical conditions in the world. The development of epilepsy is typically linked to hereditary factors, but it is one of the most common disorders in the world, affecting over 50 million people. The most common type of epilepsy is known as idiopathic epilepsy. It will typically develop with no known cause.

4 - Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s Disease, abbreviated as PD, is a disorder characterized by neurodegenerative symptoms. In this disease, the brain cells simply progressively die as the patient grows older. Some of the most common symptoms include impaired balance, slowness of movement, and overall tremors and rigidity. Muscular functions begin to deteriorate as well, and even small things like speaking or swallowing may become more difficult. This disease seriously affects the patient's quality of life, and new research is beginning to come out that suggests that there may be hereditary factors to consider in diagnosing the illness.

5 - Strokes

Strokes are defined as “brain attacks." When blood flow is cut off to a section of the brain, the brain cells begin to die after they are deprived of oxygen. When those brain cells die, abilities such as muscle control and memory are lost as well. Recovery varies largely depending on the degree of damage caused. Though strokes are often caused by environmental factors, there are also numerous genetic factors that can put the individual at an increased risk of developing a stroke. Age also plays a significant factor in this condition, as the risk for stroke increases as the individual gets older.

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