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  • Sruti Mohapatra

Chronic Neurological Conditions

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. In other words, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles. In fact, there are more than 600 recognised neurological conditions which vary in severity and symptoms from person to person.

Most of the disorders need constant care, therapy, physiotherapy and treatment. Neurological disorders can affect a person of any age and can start at any time in life. Some of these disorders are caused due to nutritional deficiency and exposure to neurotoxic substances. While there are some other factors like infections of the nervous system such as tuberculosis, malaria, cysticercosis and viral infections, Japanese encephalitis and HIV also lead to neurological disorders.


According to data from the World Health Organization around one billion people suffer from neurological disorders across the world and 6.8 million people die every year from these disorders.


RPwD Act 2016 recognises the following disabilities in this category:

  • Parkinson’s Disease - means a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

  • Multiple Sclerosis - means an inflammatory, nervous system disease in which the myelin sheaths around the axons of nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and affecting the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other.

Other Chronic Neurological Conditions

  • ALS

  • Huntington's disease

  • Alzheimer's disease (Dementia) - Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia - a continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills that disrupts a person's ability to function independently. The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations.

  • Neuromuscular disease

  • Epilepsy - Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

  • Cerebrovascular Diseases including Stroke

  • Migraine and other Headache Disorders

  • Brain Tumors

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)


References


Mayo Clinic. Alzheimer’s Disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447


Mayo Clinic. Epilepsy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20350093


RPwD Act. (2016). The Schedule – Specified Disability - http://www.tezu.ernet.in/PwD/RPWD-ACT-2016.pdf Retrieved 05 Apr 2020.


WHO. (2016). What are neurological disorders? https://www.who.int/features/qa/55/en/

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