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What are the Common Neurological Emergencies?

What are the Common Neurological Emergencies?

Posted On : May 31, 2019

Mental well-being is a vital component of a person’s overall health condition. Neurology diseases are one of the common reasons for admissions to emergency wards in hospitals. Neurological disorders are characterized by disturbances in thinking, emotional instability and abnormal behavior which negatively affects daily life.

Some of the Common Mental Conditions are:

• Alzheimer’s Disease

It is a common form of dementia in which a person experiences varying degrees of memory loss and other cognitive disabilities. Its effects include behavioral changes, confusion, disorientation, delusions, hallucinations, difficulties in communicating and judging speeds and distances, and more. Its severity increases with age.

The treatment for this disease includes two strategies:

Non-drug strategy and medication

Having a positive relationship with friends and family members can help reduce the risk of dementia, along with other steps such as staying active, indulging in tasks that require mental efforts like solving crosswords etc. Medicines like donepezil, galatamine etc are also resorted to, although they have certain side-effects like vomiting, nausea, sleeplessness, fatigue etc.

• Parkinson’s disease

It is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system which affects the movement. It is caused when the neurons in the brain don’t produce sufficient amounts of a chemical known as Dopamine, which controls the movements of the body. The causes of this disease are unknown. In some cases, it has been found to be genetic, although there is not sufficient proof of the same.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Tremor affecting a person’s hands, arms, legs and head
  • Stiff muscles and slow movement
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Blank expression
  • Deteriorating mental skills

It usually affects people over the age of fifty and is more common in men than in women. There is no diagnostic
method to detect this disorder. There are no cures available, although medications to control the extent of this
disease are available. In severe cases, neurology hospitals may resort to a technique known as Deep Brain
Stimulation (DBS), which involves transmitting electrical signals to the parts of the brain that control movement.

• Epilepsy

It is a chronic mental disorder which causes recurrent, unprovoked seizures. These seizures are sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain which occurs when the brain sends out wrong signals to the body. The seizure can occur due to unknown reasons, although it can be triggered due to injury to the brain, stroke, brain tumor, blood clots, alcohol and drug abuse. Inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain, lack of sleep, high fever and some vascular diseases can also cause epilepsy. Depending on the medical history and symptoms of the patient, blood tests can be conducted to check for blood glucose levels, signs of infectious diseases and liver & kidney function. EEG Monitoring is the most common diagnostic technique. Other imaging tests include CT Scans, MRI, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to reveal the tumors.

Anti-epileptic drugs help reduce the number of seizures. Brain surgery can be performed to remove or alter the part of the brain that causes seizures. A Vagus Nerve Stimulator, which is a device that is surgically placed under the skin on the chest can help prevent seizures by electrically stimulating the nerve running through the neck.

• Severe Headache

The irritating pain and throbbing sensation which characterizes certain types of sudden onset severe headaches are also neurological emergencies that require immediate medical attention. A prime example of this is Migraine. It is a chronic disorder where the person experiences frequent headaches. These may be moderate or severe in intensity and can last for around two days. Some symptoms associated with migraines are nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, spotty vision and speech problems. Migraines may be preceded by visual disturbances known as Aura, and a tingling sensation in one arm or one side of the face, or numbness in the hand.

Although it is not a threat to the life of an individual, it can interfere with day-to-day activities. The exact cause of migraines is yet unknown. However, some environmental factors such as sleep disruption, dehydration, irregular meals, hormonal fluctuations and exposure to certain chemicals commonly trigger migraines. A person suffering from migraines should immediately consult a neurologist.

No matter the type of neurological disease, if not diagnosed in time and treated properly, they can quickly aggravate and adversely affect other aspects of a person’s life. Therefore, prompt medical care and treatment is of utmost importance.

S.L Raheja (A Fortis Associate) is a well-equipped neurology hospital in Mumbai which has the necesary facilities, both in terms of infrastructure as well as qualified and skilled healthcare personnel, to handle all types of neurology diseases.

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