The Three Most Common Neurological Disorders

August 9, 2021 | Brain and Spine Specialists

Defined as disorders that affect the brain and nerves found throughout the body and spinal cord, neurological disorders include a wide range of conditions, some relatively common and many others that are considered rare. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are more than 600 neurologic diseases, but three in particular are known to be the most common neurological issues we encounter today.


Known as the most common neurological disorder, severe headaches and migraines affect about 14 percent of adults in America each year. Though the condition may have a genetic cause, there are many environmental and lifestyle triggers that can cause severe headaches such as stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, bright or flashing lights, lack of food or sleep, and dietary substances.


Individuals that suffer from headaches and migraines describe sensations of intense throbbing or pulsing pain usually accompanied by nausea, light and/or sound sensitivity. Left untreated, pain from migraines and headaches can persist for up to three days.


Though there is no known cure for headaches and migraines, there are some robust options for the treatment and prevention of chronic pain. Proper treatment and prevention strategies are important to have because migraine attacks get worse with each episode. Our state-of-the-art treatments, including biofeedback, radiofrequency ablation procedures and Botox® injections, work to repair or seal off the neural pathways that transmit the pain signals resulting in your migraines.


Though the second most common neurological disorder, stroke is the number five cause of death in the United States. The two types of strokes most commonly known are ischemic, meaning caused by a blood clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain, and hemorrhagic, classified by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain. Mini strokes known as transient ischemic attacks are also common, mainly caused by a temporary clot.


With 80 percent of strokes being preventable, it is crucial to know the acronym F.A.S.T. to quickly identify the key symptoms of a stroke. “F” stands for face drooping and can be easily recognized by examining someone’s smile symmetry. “A” is for arm weakness. Ask the individual to raise both arms and notice if one tends to drift downward. “S” is for speech difficulty and refers to an individual speaking in hard to understand, slurred speech. Finally, “T” represents time to call 9-1-1 and get the individual to the hospital immediately.


After seeking immediate care from the nearest emergency room, our team of neurologists combine procedures to improve brain and circulatory health with rehabilitation services to aid in stroke recovery and reduce risk of future strokes.


More common than you might think, there are many types of seizures that cover a wide range of symptoms and severity. Though most often the cause of this neurological disorder is unknown, seizures can happen after a stroke, head injury, or even infection. Neurologists generally classify seizures as either focal or generalized, based on how and where abnormal brain activity begins. Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve activity in the brain is disrupted, leading to seizures, irregular behavior or a loss of awareness. This chronic neurological disorder affects 65 million people worldwide and 3.4 million people in the United States alone.


Ranging from mild to severe, common seizure symptoms can include temporary confusion, a staring spell, uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs, loss of consciousness or awareness and even cognitive or emotional symptoms, such as fear, anxiety or déjà vu.


While there is no current cure for epilepsy, neurologists at the Panama City Brain and Spine Center can design a custom-tailored plan to reduce or prevent seizures and other symptoms of epilepsy. In conjunction with anti-seizure medication, your doctor may prescribe nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and dietary changes to better help manage conditions.