The Neurology Center

Allen Lifton, M.D. , P.A.

Ph 941 485 2220

Fax 941 485 2150



Gondola Park

200 Capri Isles Blvd 

Suite 7D 

Venice, FL  34292

Brief Descriptions of some Common Neurological Disorders


Migraines


A migraine is a recurring, moderate to severe, headache.  The pain usually occurs on one side of the head although symptoms can vary since there are different types of migraines.  Migraines are a biological disorder of the brain.  While it is more common in women, it can affect anyone.  It usually begins in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood.


 

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that progresses slowly. In people with PD, a vital chemical in the brain called dopamine is gradually reduced which causes symptoms of tremor, slowness in movement, stiff limbs and walking or balance problems. Many treatments can reduce the symptoms and improve one's quality of life. Each year about 50,000 people are diagnosed with PD.

 
Tremor

A tremor is the repetitive, involuntary, rhythmic trembling of one or more body parts of the body. Tremor is characterized by the type of activity that produces the tremor. For example, a rest tremor occurs when the body is completely at rest. Other tremors occur at the end of a voluntary movement or when aiming for a target which is called an intention tremor.  A postural tremor occurs when  a person is holding a body part in one position against gravity, such as holding a cup.  It is important to know the tremor type to determine a diagnosis and the proper treatment. For example, a rest tremor is a common symptom of Parkinson's disease.  Intention and postural tremors are common symptoms in essential tremor.

 
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS affects the central nervous system (CNS) which includes the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the body's immune system begins to attack the nerves in the CNS. Nerves can be compared to wires carrying information to and from the brain. Most nerves are covered in myelin. Myelin acts like insulation around the nerves and allows the signal to travel rapidly. In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin. This weakens or blocks the signals, leading to difficulty with normal brain or spinal chord functioning. The CNS partly recovers from these attacks and although the recovery is often incomplete, many people with MS do not become severly physically disabled.

 
Stroke

A stroke is caused by the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain or bleeding in or around the brain which can cause brain cells to stop functioning or die. The function of the body parts controled is harmed or lost. Depending on the body part of the brain affected, people can lose speech, feeling, muscle strength, coordination, vision, or memory.

 
Peripheral Neuropathy 

Peripheral Neuropathy is a nerve disorder that may cause numbness, tingling, and weakness, in addition to pain. These symptons usually start in the longest nerves in the body and so first affect the feet and later the hands. This is sometimes called the "stocking-glove" pattern.  The symptoms usually spread slowly and evenly up the legs and arms.  Other body parts might also be affected. Most people who develop peripheral neuropathy are over the age 55. But people can be affected at any age.

 
Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain.  It causes dementia.  Its earliest and main symptom is steadily increasing memory loss. Problems with getting lost, language, and emotional control are also common. These deficits may worsen over five to 20 years. Treatments can help maintain thinking, memory, and speaking skills. No treatment can currentlychange or reverse the disease. However, there are many ways to help quality of life.