Definition

Any disorder of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves).

Types

There are more than 600 diseases that affect your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Common chronic disorders include:

Causes

Neurologic disease can be due to:

Statistics

  • 16% of US households contain an individual with some form of brain impairment
  • 35.8% of persons aged 85 years and older have moderate or severe memory impairment
  • 1.2 million adult-onset brain disorders are newly diagnosed each year; 51.3% are due to stroke and 21% are due to Alzheimer’s disease

Risk Factors

  • Advanced age
  • Family History
  • Gender
  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Medications
  • Other chronic conditions

Prevention

Generally, neurological disorders are not preventable, but there are steps to make them less likely, or less of a burden.

  • Eat a low-fat diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Maintain physical activity (aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate activity)

Vaccinations

People with a chronic disease are at higher risk for serious problems from certain diseases. Getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy.

The CDC recommends all adults receive:

  • Influenza – recommended every year, age 6 months and older
  • Tdap – (if an adult did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

Talk to your doctor about which other vaccines are right for you.

Neurological Disease and COVID-19

Neurologic symptoms (strokes, impacts on smell and taste, seizure, dizziness, impaired consciousness, and muscular injury) have been reported in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that people with neurological conditions are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection, although those taking immune suppressant drugs may want to be more vigilant about maintaining physical distancing and hygiene suggestions.

Resources

Support Groups