Our nervous system is an extremely specialized and intricate network, which controls many of our daily functions, such as sight, taste, hearing, smell, sensation, voluntary and involuntary functions, blood flow, blood pressure, cognitive functions etc. So, you can imagine how any problem in our nervous system can result in.....YES...there will be total chaos! We won't be able to function at all, and some of us could also end up with permanent disability.
There are many types of problems or diseases which can afflict our nervous system and we have discussed many such problems in our NERVOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION CENTER.
Given below is a brief summary on some topics of nervous system, such as "Black Widow Spider Bite," " Dysautonomia," "Guillain–Barré Syndrome," "Neuromyelitis Optica," " Serotonin Syndrome," " Shingles" etc.
For more detailed information on the causes, symptoms, investigations, treatment and prognosis of these conditions, please refer to the left side menu under our NERVOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION CENTER.
The black widow is a type of spider is one of the most feared spiders. A bite from the black widow spider releases a protein venom which affects our nervous system. Different symptoms are produced in different victims. Symptoms often appear within 20 minutes to one hour after the bite and include: Acute pain where the spider has bitten, a mild local reaction, localized or generalized abdominal pain, intense muscle cramps, tremor and weakness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, chest pain. Treatment consists of cold or warm compresses, hot baths, OTC pain killers (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) and antivenin.
For more detailed read, please refer to the left side column under our NERVOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION CENTER.
Dysautonomia is a condition where there is failure of the autonomic nervous system. The different types of Dysautonomia or Autonomic Dysfunction are:
- POTS syndrome
- Fainting and dizziness.
- Autonomic breakdown.
- Neurocardiogenic syncope.
- Orthostatic hypotension.
Common Symptoms are: Extreme fatigue, increased thirst, dizziness, anxiety, tachycardia/bradycardia, orthostatic hypotension, facial flushing and headaches. The cause of dysautonomia is not clear. Risk factors include: Autoimmune disorders, diabetes mellitus, Lyme disease, brain injury, multisystem atrophy and spinal cord injury. Treatment depends on the type of dysautonomia and the symptoms produced.
For more information, please refer to the left side menu where you can find everything under our NERVOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION CENTER in vast detail.
Guillain–Barré syndrome is a type of disorder which affects the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms consist of weakness and paralysis starting from the lower extremities and ascending towards the upper body. Patient may not be able to stand or sit properly and the reflexes may be absent. Other symptoms include: Loss of sensation of temperature, aching pain in the muscles, bowel and bladder dysfunction, postural hypotension and irregular heartbeat. Causes of Guillain–Barré Syndrome are a bacteria Campylobacter jejuni and cytomegalovirus.
There are 6 Types of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS) and they are:
- Miller Fisher Syndrome
- Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy
- Acute Motor Sensory Axonal Neuropathy
- Acute Panautonomic Neuropathy
- Bickerstaff's Brainstem Encephalitis
Diagnostic tests for Guillain–Barré syndrome include: EMG/nerve conduction studies and CSF analysis. Treatment comprises of supportive treatment, rehab, occupational therapy etc.
For more detailed information please read under our NERVOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION CENTER on the left side menu.
This is a rare condition of the central nervous system, which affects the optic nerves and the spinal cord resulting in inflammation and demyelination of the optic nerves as well as the spinal cord. Symptoms comprise of optic neuritis, which is the primary symptom. Other symptoms include: Transverse myelitis resulting in weakness, numbness, paralysis of the extremities, loss of bladder and bowel function. There is no clear treatment for Neuromyelitis Optica; however, there are some measures which can be undertaken to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent recurrent relapses. For this, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants are used. Occupational therapy, physical therapy can be done for rehabilitation.
Serotonin is found in our platelets and serum and its function is acting as a neurotransmitter and constricting our blood vessels. Serotonin Syndrome is a condition where there is an increase in production of the serotonin resulting in many disorders. The cause of this is taking antidepressants for depression. Common symptoms of serotonin syndrome or serotonin reuptake syndrome are: Confusion, agitation, dilation of the pupils, headache, fluctuating blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tachycardia, decrease in muscle coordination, chills and profuse sweating. Serious symptoms include: High fever, irregular heartbeat, seizures and loss of consciousness.
Treatment requires hospitalization, medicines such as benzodiazepines, discontinuation of the antidepressant. Periactin (cyproheptadine) is a drug which blocks the production of the serotonin and is used in serious cases.
Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral condition which causes a blistering skin rash. The cause of shingles is a virus named varicella-zoster. Risk Factors are previous history of chickenpox, old age, weak immune system. Symptoms include: One-sided pain, tingling/burning, red patches/rash, small blisters, sores, abdominal pain, headache, fever, chills, malaise, genital sores, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.
Treatment comprises of antiviral drugs (acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir), corticosteroids, antihistamines, pain killers, cool compresses, calamine lotion and bed rest.
Other Nerve Diseases & Conditions Which are Covered in This Section:
- Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia
- Phantom Pain
- Chronic Neuropathic Pain
- Fungal Meningitis
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Disseminated Sclerosis
- Chronic Nociceptive Pain
- Entrapment Neuropathy or Nerve Compression Syndrome
- Intercostal Neuralgia
- Postherpetic Neuralgia
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
- What are the Common Causes of RSD or CRPS Type 1?
- What is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD or CRPS Type 1?
- Tic Douloureux or Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Nerve Damage
- Central Pain Syndrome
- What is Spastic Quadriplegia?
- Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
- Nerve Root Compression