Neurological System class study . The neurological system consists of two parts. The central nervous system (CNS) encompasses the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all of the nerve fibers found outside of the brain along with the cranial and spinal nerves. The peripheral nervous system carries sensory (afferent) messages to the CNS from sensory receptors, motor (efferent) messages from the CNS out to muscles and glands, and autonomic messages that govern the internal organs and blood vessels (Jarvis, 2016).
Diseases of the brain, spine, and the nerves that connect them are referred to as neurological disorders. According to the National Library of Medicine (2016), more than 600 neurologic diseases are known today including many that you already know such as epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and stroke. But there may be a number of those with which you may not be familiar such as frontotemporal dementia and Moya Moya Syndrome.
While the cause of many of these diseases remains unknown, others may be attributed to cerebrovascular disease, brain cancer, neuro-infections, trauma, and even malnutrition (WHO, 2016).
With a staggering number of individuals worldwide being diagnosed with a neurological disorder and/or living with the devastating effects of one of them each year, the importance of conducting a rapid and accurate assessment of the neurological system cannot be over stressed.
Please take a moment to reflect on your current assessment practices as they relate to the neurological system. What assessment tools are available to you in your workplace? In comparison to the assessment described in this week’s readings how would you rate your current practice in terms of timeliness and accuracy?
According to the American Stroke Association (2016), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. A stroke, also referred to as a brain attack, occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted causing decreased oxygen in the affected area of the brain and death to brain cells. When this occurs, the abilities controlled by that portion of the brain are lost.
The location of the stroke in the brain and the amount of the brain that is damaged will determine how the person will be affected by it. Symptoms can vary widely and range from temporary weakness of an arm or leg to permanent paralysis on one side of the body and the inability to speak. While some people will recover completely from a stroke, more than two-thirds of them will be left with some type of disability (American Stroke Association, 2016).
Visit the American Stroke Association website at http://www.strokeassociation.org/ (Links to an external site.). Click on the professional tab and then target stroke to review best practice information for the assessment and treatment of patients presenting with stroke-like symptoms. How does your organization’s door-to-needle times compare to the recommended times?
Traumatic Brain Injury
Any blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that results in the disruption to the normal function of the brain is referred to as a traumatic brain injury. Due to the complexity of the brain, every injury to the brain is different. Symptoms and recovery times will be individualized and can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury (Jarvis, 2016). Please review the quick reference tool from the American Academy of Neurology, which can be found on page 268. Click on the link below to learn how to perform a quick check for concussion.
https://www.aan.com/siteassets/home-page/tools-and-resources/practicing-neurologist–administrators/patient-resources/sports-concussion-resources/17concussionreferencesheet_tr.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop whenever an individual has experienced a traumatic event involving real or threatened death such as with military combat, terrorist attacks, assault, serious accidents, and natural disasters (Jarvis, 2016).
While most people experiencing trauma will report suffering from intense fear, anxiety, and the feeling that they had no control over the situation immediately following the event, not all will go on to develop PTSD. It is when the symptoms do not diminish over time or begin to disrupt the person’s life that the possibility of PTSD must be considered (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016).
Factors contributing to the development of PTSD include
- intensity and duration of the traumatic event;
- injury to self or death of loved one during the event; and
- proximity to the event.
Please visit the PTSD website for the Department of Veterans Affairs at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/ (Links to an external site.) to learn about the resources that are available to our veterans suffering from this disorder. Next, conduct a brief Internet search to determine what resources are available in your local community to assist your patients. Do you believe these resources are adequate to meet the needs of the veterans living in your area?
Healthy People Initiative
The following are focus areas for neurologic health that have been outlined in Healthy People 2020 (DHHS, 2014).
Key Objectives For Alzheimer’s Disease
- Increase the number of persons seen in primary healthcare who receive mental health assessment.
- Increase the number of adults with mental disorders who receive treatment.
Key Objectives For Head Trauma
- Reduce hospitalization for nonfatal head injuries.
- Reduce deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes.
- Increase the use of safety belts.
- Increase the use of helmets by cyclists.
- Reduce deaths by falls.
Summary The neurological system class study
In this lesson, we examined
- assessment strategies associated with the neurological assessment, and
- abnormalities related to assessment of the neurological system
Knowledge of these assessment strategies are necessary to completing a thorough physical examination.