CHRONIC NEUROLOGICAL
 
CONDITIONS

Chronic neurological conditions, such as “multiple sclerosis” means an inflammatory, nervous system disease in which the myelin sheaths around the axons of nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and affecting the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other.


Other conditions that can be categorized under Chronic

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Neurological Conditions are:

Alzheimer’s  disease, Dementia, Dystonia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease, Neuromuscular disease, Multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, and Stroke.

Chronic Neurological Conditions has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the RPWD ACT please refer to RPWD ACT.

Signs and Symptoms of neurological conditions nervous systems:

 

  • Altered smell or taste.

 

  • Burning feeling.

 

  • Confusion or cognitive changes.

 

  • Fainting, lethargy, or change in your level of consciousness.

 

  • Involuntary muscle contractions (dystonia).

 

  • Loss of balance.

 

  • Muscle weakness.

 

  • Numbness.

 

  • Pain from an origin that does not usually cause pain or that follows the course of a specific nerve.

  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part.

 

  • Pins-and-needles (prickling) sensation.

 

  • Sensitivity.

 

  • Tingling.

 

Neurological symptoms may also accompany symptoms related to the digestive system including:

 

  • Difficulty chewing

 

  • Digestive problems

 

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

 

  • Nausea with or without vomiting.

 

  • Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition In some cases, neurological symptoms caused by a malfunctioning of the autonomic nervous system (part of the peripheral nervous system) may be life threatening and should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Abnormal pupil size or non-reactivity to light

 

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
     

  • Difficulty swallowing

 

  • Disorientation

 

  • Dizziness or vertigo

 

  • Garbled or slurred speech or inability to speak

 

  • Loss of muscle coordination

 

  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, laboured breathing, wheezing, not breathing, choking

  • Seizures

 

  • Sudden paralysis or inability to move a body part

 

  • Vision changes or sudden blindness.

 

  1. MENTAL STIMULATION: Brain activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and help the brain develop new brain cells. Developing new cells can help at the times of cell losses. Different types of activities which require manual dexterity and mental efforts can help the brain build up. Mental gymnastics like crosswords, math problems, or puzzles and other tasks like learning a new language, reading, drawing, painting, listening to music, such activities performed on a regular basis can help brain train.

  2. MEDITATION: Meditation helps improve concentration and memory. Meditation helps the brain to remain calm during an intense and stressful situation. This, in turn, avoids over-stressing and allows the mind to think more clearly and broadly.

  3. QUALITY SLEEP: Sleep gives the human brain time to reset, remove the blinders, and be prepared for the next day. While your body sleeps and recovers from the physical strain, the brain is still working on understanding the day's process, the information grasped and the tasks of tomorrow. However, if you are sleep deprived, your brain functions remain slow the following day, and the information take-in doesn’t happen as expected. To perform well and benefit from sleeping, at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep is advised for adults.

  4. HEALTHY DIET: The food you eat provides for the fuel; the brain needs to make neurotransmitters, enzymes, nerve linings, and more. Several foods are good for the brain. Green vegetables, proteins from meat and pulses, whole grains, nuts, fruits, omega three fatty acids from fish oil, green tea, etc. are all that increases rain function. Limiting your intake of caffeine, junk, red meat, etc. is also advisable.

  5. PHYSICAL EXERCISE: Regular physical training has benefits for both the brain and the body. Increased level of creativity, lesser mood swings, decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s and Cancer, performance enhancement, and stress-busting are some of the amazing benefits of regular physical exercises. And the best part is, simple activities like aerobics, gymnastics, walking, cardio, and weight training if you like it, all contribute towards better brain health.

  6. MAINTAINING GOOD RELATIONSHIPS AND BEING SOCIAL: Being social and being around people whose company you enjoy is also a great way to keep your brain active and working. While most people like spending their time binge-watching TV series and avoiding company, in general, is not good for their overall well-being. Interacting with people, listening, responding, understanding, and paying attention, keeps your brain functioning. It keeps you away from depression and stress, and also keeps anxiety at bay. 

  7. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Most people, lives are busy and stressful. But, to be able to enjoy each day and give your best, your brain has to remain healthy. Health is indeed wealth. Incorporating activities like cardio, running, or walking, for just half an hour a day will give your brain heart a boost. Include activities like taking up a new hobby, reading, playing an instrument, improving social connections, etc. can help majorly in keeping your mind actively engaged.

  8. AVOID TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND LIMIT ALCOHOL AVOID TOBACCO IN ALL ITS FORMS: Tobacco or any other drug abuse results in a reduction of brain activity leads to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, dizziness, headache, coughing, and other such symptoms. Long term use of these products can have serious side effects on the brain and other body parts like the nervous system, lungs, and heart. Alcohol consumption also has similar side effects. Excessive drinking can cause dementia. However, if you must drink, limit your intake to two drinks a day. Years of researches and studies have proved that brains can be trained to improve their function and performance. If ‘how to improve my brain function,’ is still a question in your mind, then get started with a few of these tips mentioned above, and see how they impact your brain. Train your brain, feed it well, give it time to rest, and repeat. Playing a few puzzles a day is how you can test brain function and improve it all together.

 

Reasonable adjustments for neurological conditions:

 

Each neurological condition presents its own challenges, and each person will manage their condition differently.

 

The reasonable adjustments required for neuro-diverse workers will be specific to each individual’s needs, so it’ s imperative that they are involved in determining what reasonable adjustments are appropriate for them. Often, making some simple adjustments in consultation with the worker can help support them to work to their full potential.

 

Workplace needs assessments Employers should develop arrangements for conducting comprehensive workplace needs assessments with their neuro-diverse students. This will help to identify any barriers faced by workers, any risks to their health, safety and welfare, and how these can be overcome. Examples of adjustments that may arise from a workplace needs assessment include: personal emergency evacuation plans, ensuring the worker can respond to an emergency in the workplace without putting themselves or others in danger.

 

Ergonomic adjustments to the individual’s workstation to ensure they can work efficiently in a setup that has been tailored to their needs; a fixed workstation (rather than sharing a workstation or ‘hot-desking’) and specific tools to aid work organisation, such as a visual timetable or organiser app; Specialist training, for example developing memory skills, time management and work planning.

 

 

Assistive technology:

 

Retrospective memory aids

 

 

(PMAs) and retrospective memory aids (RMAs). PMAs are context-aware aids that make use of artificial intelligence to determine if a particular guidance is necessary or not at the moment, thus help to remember future intentions (making and keeping appointments) in case the patient fails to do so. Some examples of PMAs are Memory glasses, Memo Clip, etc.

 

Memory Glasses help in reminding the patient in a timely manner of a situation that needs his attention but in a context-aware manner. Context awareness is provided using computer-perception techniques that involve capturing visual images. It is highly accurate and also adaptable towards user’s preferences. RMAs are devices that help the patient to retrieve episodic memory (the collection of past experiences that occurred at a particular time and place). An example of RMA is Microsoft’s SenseCam,

 

A device designed to capture photographs passively without the wearer’s knowledge. The collected information when reviewed by the patient would help him to recollect past events that might have been forgotten.