Any disorder of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves).
There are more than 600 diseases that affect your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Common chronic disorders include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Schizophrenia and other Psychological Disorders
Neurologic disease can be due to:
- Aging/Degeneration (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s)
- Diseases of the blood vessels that supply the brain (stroke)
- Genetics (Huntington’s, muscular dystrophy)
- Infections (meningitis)
- Nervous system development (spina bifida)
- Seizure disorders (epilepsy)
- 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
- Advanced age
- Family History
- Other chronic conditions
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)
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.
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Brain Foundation
- Brain & Life
- Caring Bridge
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke