What is the central nervous system (CNS)?
The central nervous system, also called CNS, comprises the brain and spinal cord, where the brain controls bodily functions, and the spinal cord carries back and forth between the brain and peripheral nerves. The spinal cord is attached to the brainstem and runs through the spinal canal. The brain is responsible for movements, sensations, thoughts, etc., while the spinal cord controls certain reflex movements without the brain's interference.
Brain: It is an organ that is responsible for every movement in the body and acts as the center of the central nervous system. It is the most important and most complex organ in vertebrates. A human brain consists of billions and billions of neurons that help to send signals throughout the body.
Spinal cord: Spinal cord is a long bundle of nerves and cells that extend from the upper back to the lower back. It is responsible for sending signals across the body.
What is Central nervous system disorder?
Central nervous-system disorders are neurological disorders that affect the structure and functioning of the brain and spinal cord, collectively called the central nervous system. The common neurological disorders include Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, autism, addiction, seizures, catalepsy, migraine.
Meningitis, Locked-in syndrome, Tourette's, brain tumor, myelopathy are also a few examples of CNS disorders.
Different types of Central nervous-system Disorders
The following are different types of central nervous system disorders that affect the structure and functioning of the brain and spinal cord.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: It is a behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorder that makes an individual impulsive and hyperactive. Individuals affected with ADHD face difficulty while concentrating and following instructions. ADHD causes due to structural and chemical imbalance in the brain. It is one of the dangerous neurological disorders that affect the performance of an individual at school, college, or the workplace.
- Autism: It is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder causing restricted and repetitive behavior patterns. People affected with this disorder find it difficult to communicate and interact socially.
- Addiction: Addiction is a brain reward system disorder caused due to transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms.
- Seizures: Seizures are the most dangerous and fatal central nervous system disorder caused due to unusual electrical activities in the brain. According to the neurologist, Seizures result from hypersynchronous, excessive, and abnormal neuronal activity in the brain.
- Catalepsy: It is a type of CNS disorder that causes muscular rigidity and immobility and decreases sensitivity to pain.
- Migraine: It is a neurological disease that causes moderate to severe headaches.
- Meningitis: Meningitis causes inflammation and swelling in the membranes of the brain and spinal cords. Some common symptoms of meningitis are fever, stiff neck, vomiting, bacterial or viral infections.
- Locked-in syndrome: Locked-in syndrome damage the brainstem. In locked-in syndrome, facial muscles get paralyzed, but the consciousness remains.
- Brain tumor: It is also a dangerous central nervous system disorder that can be treated only after surgery.
- Tourette's: Tourette's is one of the inherited central nervous system disorders that can include the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Myelopathy: Injury in the spinal cords is referred to as myelopathy. Trauma, congenital stenosis, degenerative disease are common causes of myelopathy (injury to the spinal cord)
The given list of CNS disorders is not exhaustive but inclusive instead.
Sign, symptoms, and causes of central nervous-system disorders
Every central nervous system disorders have different signs and symptoms, but some common symptoms of all CNS disorders are continuous headache, body aches, difficulty while concentrating, memory loss, tremors, etc. Seizures, paralysis, slurred speech, and coordination loss are also signs of CNS disorders.
What causes central nervous system disorders is still a question to answer, but some common causes of central nervous system disorders are:
Trauma: It is a traumatic brain injury, also known as spinal injury, that causes a wide spectrum of disabilities to a person. The disorder can be anticipated only after diagnosing the brain or spinal cord section suffered from the trauma.
Infection: Infections can be of several types and directly affect your brain and spinal cord. Infections can cause due to invasion of microorganisms.
Degeneration: It causes loss of spine function.
Structural defects: Congenital disabilities, spinal Bifida, hypospadias are some common structural defects causing CNS disorder. Persons born with structural defects may have heat issues, malformed limbs, and facial abnormalities.
CNS tumors: Tumor can be best described as the abnormal growth of body tissues. Initially, tumors can be noncancerous, but with the passing time, they become malignant, which can turn into cancer.
Autoimmune disorders: In autoimmune disorders body's immunity system starts attacking the healthy body tissues.
Strokes: Stroke means sudden interruption of blood supply to the brain and nervous system. Stroke causes due to blocked blood vessels or ruptured blood vessels.
There is a wide range of central-nervous system disorders treatments, starting from behavioral therapies to complex surgeries. A doctor always initiates the treatment of CNS disorders using medicines and further changes the treatment process as per the situation. According to neuroradiology, the following are some common CNS:
Interventional neuroradiology: In this treatment, a tiny flexible tube is inserted into the brain's blood vessels. This method treats strokes caused due to blood vessels disorders. It is effective in treating stroke.
Microsurgery: In microsurgery, very small instruments and microscope is used to operate the brain.
Stereotactic radiosurgery: It treats several types of nervous-system disorders. Stereotactic radiosurgery can help to get a high-power X-ray of the small area of the body without damaging the brain's tissues.
Some other common treatments of CNS also include Medications, deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, neurorehabilitation, spinal surgeries.