Our brain and spinal column are the control center of our body. If these become damaged or altered, it can affect us in a variety of ways. With modern technology, our understanding of these effects is never-ending...

Chronic Neurological Diseases

Chronic neurological diseases are those diseases of the brain, nerves and spinal cord that last for long durations, resulting in death in most cases. These diseases affect a large number of Americans and are responsible for high mortality and morbidity rates. As of now, there is no cure for chronic neurological diseases and special research is being carried out in this field. Some of the common diseases that fall under this category include:


This is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases. It is a movement disorder in which involuntary muscle contractions occur, resulting in repetitive, twisting movements.

  • The common symptoms include voice problems, tremors and dragging foot.
  • Dystonia could either affect a single muscle or several muscles of the body.
  • The disease has no cure although physical therapy, medicines, surgeries, etc are used to eliminate or reduce pain and muscle spasms.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis:

This chronic neuro-disorder results from the damage of neurons that are responsible for the control of voluntary muscle movement. It generally occurs between the age of 40 and 60.

  • The initial symptoms include writing, speaking and walking problems but as the disease progresses, all strength and movement are lost.
  • Finally, the disease progresses to the chest and breathing ceases causing death due to respiratory failure in most cases.
  • The disease can be hereditary although it occurs at random in most cases. Intervention can help in prolonging the survival and reducing symptoms but like most of the chronic neurological diseases, ALS also has no ultimate cure.

Multiple Sclerosis:

Also known as MS, this is one of the most prevalent chronic neurological diseases. Here, the myelin sheath that surrounds axons of the brain and spinal cord gets inflamed due to which signal transmission between the body and the CNS gets blocked or slowed down.

  • The common symptoms include muscle weakness, balance co-ordination problems, visual disturbances and memory problems.
  • It affects more women than men and generally in the age group of 20-40.
  • The cause for MS in unknown and it is said to be autoimmune where the body produces antibodies that attack itself.
  • No cure is known yet either and occupational and physical therapies are used to help control symptoms.

Epilepsy: This chronic neurological disease is characterized by recurring seizures that occur when neurons of the brain conduct incorrect signals to the body.

  • The common symptoms include mood swings, aggression, muscle spasms and unconsciousness.
  • The causes of epilepsy have been attributed to brain injury, illness and abnormalities in the brain development.
  • Epilepsy can controlled to a great extent with interventions like surgery in which devices like vagus nerve-stimulators are implanted in the brain. For milder cases, drugs and preventative measures are used to control seizures.


There are several other chronic neurological diseases that afflict a large number of people like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzhiemer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, etc. All these disorders start off with mild symptoms that only progress with time. Interventions have helped in controlling a lot of these symptoms but these disorders always result in death.