5 Neurological Problems Associated with Ageing
Few people efficaciously anticipate the task of caring for an aging parent – but most deny that it is coming. However, sooner or later most children must accept that they will have to fulfill the role of a caregiver to their parents. Old age is full of surprises, and one emergency can shatter the lives of the loved ones. Furthermore, older people are at a higher risk of neurological problems which is silenced by societal pressure and stigma attached to it.
The brain and nervous system are the central control system of our body. Together, both control the organs, movements, senses, thoughts, and memories. Nerves are the pathways that carry signals to and fromthe brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is where all the nerves are bundled, and it runs from the brain down the center of theback, behind the backbone. All nerves in our body extend from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
As we age, the brain and nervous system go through natural changes that can affect their functions and eventually our health. Brain and spinal cord lose nerve cells through the process of atrophy. The process can slow down communication between the brain and nervous system. Nerve cells can also accumulate waste products, thus, rendering the process of internal communication even slower. Lipofuscin, a fatty brown pigment can get accumulated inside the nerve cells, and its pathological accumulation has been linked with perilous neurological ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Neurological diseases affect a sizable population of older adults around the world. It can be anywhere from 5% to 55% of people aged 55 and above. Age is a major risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases, including the critical Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehring’s disease.
The issue of neurological problems is a serious one and must be addressed. There is much stigma around mental illness, and it makes most people reluctant to ask for help.It is worth to check out the best neurologists in your area and rely on a state-of-the-art hospital. For example, if you are surveyingfor thebestneurologist in Delhi, then book an appointment with Max Hospitals.If you have an elder in your family who shows the followingsymptoms of a neurological imbalance, then you must take them to a neurologist.
- Muscle Weakness
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Partial or complete loss of sensation
- Poor cognitive abilities
- Unexplained pain
- Decreased alertness
- Difficulty reading and writing
Here are 5 neurological problems in the elderly
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, which is a general term for memory loss and degrades the cognitive abilities to interfere with daily life. Although, Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, yet it is more pronounced in people who are 65 years and older. Dementia is the starting point, and Alzheimer’s disease can be the result. It is aprogressive disease where the symptoms of dementia worsen over time. Alzheimer’s has no cure, but treatment can stop the disease from progressing and slow down the symptoms of dementia.
Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Difficulty completing daily familiar tasks
- Confusion with time and place
- Misplacing things
- Losing ability to retrace steps
- Poor judgement
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that targets the brain cells that control movement. It is closely linkedto depression and dementia, and some patients even experience impairments of the ‘autonomic’ nervous system. This part of thenervous system is responsible for the control of bodily functions that are not intentionallyor consciouslydirected, such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestive processes.Parkinson’s targets neurons which produce dopamine in the body. Dopamine operates with other neurotransmitters to help coordinate with nerve cells and muscles involved in themovement. People who have Parkinson’s disease oversee a significant loss of dopamine-producing cells which impairs the coordination between nerve and muscle cells. Parkinson’s is idiopathic disease and has no specific causes.
Know the Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
- Tremor or shaking of hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs
- Bradykinesia or slowness of movement; limited movement
- Postural instability or impaired balance and coordination
- Loss of smell
- Weakness of face and throat muscles
In multiple sclerosis, the communication within the brain, and brain and body is disrupted. It is chronic, unpredictable and often disabling disease which affects the central nervous system, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Multiple Sclerosis is categorized as an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking and damaging the nervous system. It can threaten the life of the patient depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition.
Warning Signs of Multiple Sclerosis
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- Eye problems such as double vision or uncontrolled eye movements
- Muscle spasms
- Problems with bladder or bowel control
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of sensation
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
ALS is also known Lou Gehrig’s disease and is progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord which command the movement of the body. It is a motor neuron disease where the muscle degenerates, and it leads to scarring or hardening in the region. People who have ALS will eventually lose out the ability to initiate and control all voluntary movement. ALS weakens the muscles of the body, including the ones used for breathing, and ultimately makes the patient paralyzed. A highly rare neurological disease, it is quite difficult to diagnose ALS, but a series of symptoms can point to the disease.
Warning Signs of ALS
- Arms and legs may lose coordination
- General fatigue may develop
- Swallowing, speaking, and breathing may become difficult
- Feet and ankles may become weak
- Muscles in arms, shoulders, and tongue may twitch or cramp
Epilepsy is neurological characterized by recurrent seizures, which are caused by abnormal activity of neurons. It is caused by several reasons such as an imbalance of neurotransmitters or from abnormal nerve connections that form after a severe injury like a trauma or stroke. Seizures can be brief or occur for a long time, where the body shakes vigorously for a long time. In elder people, it can lead to broken bones. Seizures can be further categorized into general and focal based on electrical activity. They are unpredictable, episodic, brief and stereotypic.
Warning Signs of Epilepsy
- Odd Feelings
- Unusual experiences; sense of detachment, out-of-body experiences, situations may seem unexpectedly
- Period of forgetfulness and memory lapses
- Tingling or feelings of electricity in a particular part of the body
- Losing control of urine, or stool suddenly
- Intense daydreaming episodes
Neurological conditions like the ones mentioned above are a severe issue and must be addressed proactively. If you believe that someone is your family is suffering from one, then the first step is getting them assessed by a neurologist. Make sure you visit the best neurologist in Delhi from one of the Max Hospitals if you are in Delhi. They are the leaders in providing comprehensive, seamless and integrated healthcare services at a fraction of international costs.