Top 5 Rare Disorders Treated by a Neurologist

The following 5 disorders are rare conditions that require treatment by a neurologist.

Angelman Syndrome

According to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, one in 15,000 individuals is born with Angelman Syndrome. This rare neuro-genetic disorder affects everything from the ability to speak and communicate to stiff and jerky movements of the limbs. Additional symptoms include developmental delay, microcephaly, and excessive drooling. Children are known for their abundant laughter, as well as their fascination with water. Neurologists are needed to treat seizures, which occur in approximately 90 percent of patients. In many cases, the seizures can become quite severe.

Barth Syndrome

Barth Syndrome is a rare neuromuscular disorder with a genetic component. It is passed on to sons from their mothers and affects the X chromosome. The Barth Syndrome Foundation reports that boys with this condition are often below average in their weight and height and experience both muscle weakness and an increased exertional fatigue. A few additional symptoms that are common among individuals with this syndrome include hypoglycemia, learning disabilities, and diarrhea. Proper monitoring by a neurologist, as well as a few additional specialists, is the best way to ensure a longer and more productive life.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Although Cushing’s Syndrome is classified as an endocrine disorder, it includes symptoms that require the care of a neurologist. These include neuromuscular issues and trouble with memory. With this condition, the body creates excess levels of cortisol that affect the body in a myriad of ways. Many individuals are clinically obese, have high blood pressure, and feel fatigued. The Pituitary Network Association states that there are between 10 and 15 people per million suffering with Cushing’s Syndrome. The majority tend to be women who have additional symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles and above average body hair.

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease

Both a genetic and neurological disorder, patients with Hallervorden-Spatz Disease experience neurodegeneration, which means their neurons worsen over the course of time. Symptoms include trouble coordinating movements, muscle spasms, and seizures. The older a person gets, the more symptoms he or she may experience. Vision problems become common, speech is harder to understand, and disorientation and dementia creep in. Although each individual manifests differently, a neurologist will be able to recommend appropriate therapies, such as speech and physical therapy. These will help in retaining skills for as long as possible.

Machado-Joseph Disease

A rare hereditary ataxia, Machado-Joseph Disease has symptoms that mimic those of Parkinson’s Disease. A few of the features of this specific disease include difficulty chewing and swallowing, movements that appear to be clumsy, and abnormal postures. The severity of symptoms is determined by the DNA code. When a person has longer repeat expansions, he or she tends to experience more traits of the illness. Although anyone can be afflicted with this disease, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that it is most commonly found in people of Portuguese/Azorean descent.

When any type of neurological disorder is suspected, it is best to seek treatment and diagnosis immediately by making an appointment with a specialist. The earlier the detection, the sooner therapies and medical care can begin for the best possible prognosis.

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