Nervous System Disorders

Also known as: nervous system problems, central nervous system disorders, peripheral nervous system disorders, autonomic nervous system disorders

What are nervous system disorders?

The nervous system is the part of the body that directs and coordinates all its actions by sending signals to and from different parts of the body. It is made up of two major divisions:
  • the Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
  • the Peripheral nervous system (which includes all the nerves).
Other organs of the nervous system include the eyes, ears, and other highly specialized sensory organs whose function it is to take information detected from the internal and external environment and transmit that information to the brain. Any condition that adversely affects the function of any part of the nervous system is called a nervous system disorder.
 

What causes nervous system disorders? 

Causes of nervous system disorders vary widely. They may be congenital structural defects, genetic conditions present at birth that may or may not be passed along from parents to their children, damage from injuries, tumors, infections, degeneration, autoimmune diseases, toxins, blood flow problems, or complications from medications or other treatments, among other causes.
 

What are the symptoms of nervous system disorders? 

The symptoms of nervous system disorders can also range widely. Common signs include persistent severe headache, delay in developmental milestones, changes in skull size, decline in mental ability, vision problems, slurred speech, loss of sensation, balance or coordination problems, loss of muscle control, muscle wasting or rigidity, seizures and others.
 

What are nervous system disorder care options?

Treatments will depend on a number of factors which include age of child, and underlying cause. Typically a pediatric neurologist will be the head of a health care team which may include neurosurgeons, nutritionists, geneticists, psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, and others to optimize management and support.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 10:41:50 AM


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Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.
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