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Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder


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Is there any difference between the termsbrain diseaseandbrain disorder? They are often used in combination without specifying the difference, e.g. here.


There are many who will tell you authoritatively that a disease is acquired (e.g. infection, cancer, etc.) whereas disorder is something curable or genetic. These are imprecise and untrue. Basically a disturbance in normal functioning can be either a disorder or a disease, regardless of it's curability or method of acquisition.

From your link, the second entry (for acid lipase disease) contains this information:

Two rare lipid storage diseases are caused by the deficiency of the enzyme lysosomal acid lipase: Wolman's disease… is an autosomal recessive disorder… Infants with the disorder appear normal at birth… Cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD) is an extremely rare disorder

and

Alexander disease is one of a group of neurological conditions known as the leukodystrophies, disorders that are the result of abnormalities in myelin… Alexander disease is a progressive and often fatal disease.

This might lead you to deduce that the disease is the manifestation, whereas disorder is the source. Though I would say that this is as close to a real distinction you'll find, even that doesn't consistently hold up. We talk about infectious diseases though we know the etiology and pathology, and inherited diseases and disorders. Mental diseases are mostly disorders regardless of their genetics.

The truth is that nomenclature is subjective. It has something to do with history (if the person who discovers or elucidates the disorder an illness names it a disease, a disease it will tend to remain, e.g. Huntington's disease/Crohn's disease), precedent, and advances in understanding. I think there is a tendency to name things disorders today, as disease carries certain connotations. It is all very subjective.

Edited to add: no disease or disorder occurs without some change in underlying structure. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (closely related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - also known as Mad Cow Disease) occurs in an inherited form, a sporadic form, and a transmitted form. In all cases, the etiologic agent is thought to be a self-replicating tiny bit of protein called a prion. Prions occur normally, and are replicated and broken down. When the abnormal prion (same chemical structure but a different spatial structure) is introduced, this new prion, because of it's different shape, cannot be broken down, accumulating in the brain, eventually to the extent that normal brain cells are destroyed by the stores of prion within the brain. The same can be said of any illness: something of normal order is disturbed (e.g. smokers and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.)


The Oxford English Dictionary lists the following definitions:

disease, n.

1 Absence of ease; uneasiness, discomfort; inconvenience, annoyance; disquiet, disturbance; trouble. (For long Obs. but revived in modern use with the spelling dis-ease.)

2 A condition of the body, or of some part or organ of the body, in which its functions are disturbed or deranged; a morbid physical condition; 'a departure from the state of health, especially when caused by structural change' (New Sydenham Soc. Lexicon). Also applied to a disordered condition in plants.

3 fig. A deranged, depraved, or morbid condition (of mind or disposition, of the affairs of a community, etc.); an evil affection or tendency.

disorder, n.

1-3 Absence or undoing of order or regular arrangement; confusion; confused state or condition… Disturbance, commotion, tumult; esp. a breach of public order, riot, mutiny, outrage.

†4 Disturbance or agitation of mind, discomposure. Obs.

5 A disturbance of the bodily (or mental) functions; an ailment, disease. (Usually a weaker term than disease n., and not implying structural change.)

As we can see, the common meanings of disease and disorder, in our context, tend towards:

Disease

  • a physiological dysfunction caused by structural change

Disorder

  • a physiological dysfunction not caused by structural change, or
  • a psychological dysfunction (caused by a physiological dysfunction, learning or the environment)

The use of the words disease and disorder by medical experts will likely be influenced by this lay meaning of the two words. Here are some definitions given by medical dictionaries:

Dorian, A. F. (1987). Elsevier's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Medicine

  • disease Any impairment of the normal state of the organism, interrupting or affecting the performance of its vital functions. More specifically, all physical and mental reactions to some noxious agent, an injury, a defect, a deficiency, or a degenerative process.
  • disorder A condition characterized by a derangement of normal functions of the body.

Stedman, T. L. (1995). Stedman's Medical Dictionary (26th ed.)

  • disease 1. An interruption, cessation, or disorder of body functions, system, or organs. SYN illness, morbus, sickness. 2. A morbid entity characterized usually by at least two of these criteria: recognized etiologic agent(s), identifiable group of signs and symptoms, or consistent anatomical alterations. SEE ALSO syndrome. 3. Literally, dis-ease, the opposite of ease, when something is wrong with a bodily function.
  • disorder A disturbance of function, structure, or both, resulting from a genetic or embryologic failure in development or from exogenous factor such as poison, trauma, or disease.

Becker, E. L., et al. (eds). (1986). International Dictionary of Medicine and Biology

  • disease A condition which alters or interferes with the normal state of an organism and is usually characterised by the abnormal functioning of one or more of the host's systems, parts, or organs. It may be due to an unknown cause or may result from an inherent metabolic or structural deficiency, including congenital and hereditary defects and degenerative processes, or from such factors as stress, noxious stimuli, toxic agents, injury, or infection. A given disease is often manifested by a characteristic set of signs and symptoms, although a host organism can be asymptomatic while having microscopic, serologic, or immuniologic evidence of diseease. • Disease is usually distinguished from injury, the disruption of an organism's integrity, espeially by an external agent, and often from syndrome, a complex of symptoms descriptive of a disorder, especially a particular combination of phenotypic manifestations.
  • disorder An alteration of the function or struture of an organ or the body as a whole.

Dorland, W. A. N. (1994). Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (28th ed.)

  • disease any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part, organ, or system (or combination thereof) of he body that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs and whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown.
  • disorder a derangement or abnormality of function; a morbid physical or mental state.

As you can see, medical experts love clear, distinct, and unambiguous, definitions.


Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association, STAT!Ref, and Teton Data Systems. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000. Web.

Briere J. “Dissociative Symptoms and Trauma Exposure: Specificity, Affect Dysregulation, and Posttraumatic Stress.” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 194.2 (2006): 78-82. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Damasio, Antonio R. The Feeling of What Happens : Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 2000. http://worldcat.org. Web.

Heide, Kathleen M., and Eldra P. Solomon. “Biology, Childhood Trauma, and Murder: Rethinking Justice.” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 29.3 (2006): 220–33. Web.

Lakatos K, et al. “Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Gene Polymorphism Is Associated with Attachment Disorganization in Infants.” Molecular Psychiatry 5.6 (2000): 633–7. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Liotti, Giovanni. “Disorganized/Disoriented Attachment in the Etiology of the Dissociative Disorders.” Dissociation 5.4 (2005): 196–204. /z-wcorg/. http://worldcat.org. Web.

Ogawa JR, et al. “Development and the Fragmented Self: Longitudinal Study of Dissociative Symptomatology in a Nonclinical Sample.” Development and Psychopathology 9.4 (1997): 855–79. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Reinders, A. A., et al. “One Brain, Two Selves.” NeuroImage 20.4 (2003): 2119–25. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Sar, V., S. N. Unal, and E. Ozturk. “Frontal and Occipital Perfusion Changes in Dissociative Identity Disorder.” Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 156.3 (2007): 217–23. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Schore, Allan. “Attachment and the Regulation of the Right Brain.” Attachment & Human Development 2.1 (2000): 23. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Vermetten, Eric, et al. “Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder.” The American Journal of Psychiatry. 163.4 (2006): 630. /z-wcorg/. Web.

Weniger, G., et al. “Amygdala and Hippocampal Volumes and Cognition in Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse with Dissociative Disorders.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 118.4 (2008): 281–90. /z-wcorg/. Web.


The general public has been lead to believe that a diagnosis of mental disorder is the same as a legitimate medical diagnosis of disease, which is false. This is common knowledge among psychiatrists, but not something they often admit to the public at large, simply because it is the foundation upon which psychiatry is built. The fact is, all mental disorders are contained within psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and are arrived upon by psychiatrists literally voting on what is, or is not, considered a mental disorder. Unlike the rest of medicine, mental disorders are arrived at by a political, not medical process. The statements above are not opinion. In the United States, the nation’s leading mental health organization is the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and this is what the head of NIMH stated in 2013:

“While DSM has been described as a ‘Bible’ for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary…. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.” — Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health

“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman

Note: None of this is to say that people do not experience emotional or behavioral problems, but the fact remains the diagnosis are not a disease and the treatments (drugs) are not without serious, even life threatening risks. Whatever choice people make, they deserve the facts in order to make an informed decision. For documented drug side effects click here. For non-drug, non-harmful medical solutions that are not being provided to the public. Click here

“Virtually anyone at any given time can meet the criteria for bipolar disorder or ADHD. Anyone. And the problem is everyone diagnosed with even one of these ‘illnesses’ triggers the pill dispenser.” — Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, Psychiatrist

“Despite more than two hundred years of intensive research, no commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorders have proven to be either genetic or biological in origin, including schizophrenia, major depression, manic-depressive disorder, the various anxiety disorders, and childhood disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity. At present there are no known biochemical imbalances in the brain of typical psychiatric patients—until they are given psychiatric drugs.” — Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist

While there has been “no shortage of alleged biochemical explanations for psychiatric conditions…not one has been proven. Quite the contrary. In every instance where such an imbalance was thought to have been found, it was later proven false.” — Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist

“The theories are held on to not only because there is nothing else to take their place, but also because they are useful in promoting drug treatment.” — Dr. Elliott Valenstein Ph.D., author of Blaming the Brain

“There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases. If such a test were developed … then the condition would cease to be a mental illness and would be classified, instead, as a symptom of a bodily disease.” — Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School, Syracuse

“We do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there are no data to indicate ADHD is due to a brain malfunction.” — Final statement of the panel from the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on ADHD

“DSM IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. To its credit it says so — although its brief apologia is rarely noted. DSM IV has become a bible and a money making best seller — its major failings notwithstanding. It confines and defines practice, some take it seriously, others more realistically. It is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for research projects. The issue is what do the categories tell us? Do they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They don’t, and can’t, because there are no external validating criteria for psychiatric diagnoses.” Psychiatrist Loren Mosher, former Chief of NIMH’s Center for Studies of Schizophrenia, head of Schizophrenia Research, National Institute of Mental health

Psychiatrist Loren Mosher, former head of US research on Schizophrenia, NIMH

To read Loren Mosher’s resignation letter to the American Psychiatric Association, click here As former Chief of Research on Schizophrenia for the US Governments’ National Institute of Mental Health, Loren Mosher long maintained that schizophrenia was not a medical disease, and that patients diagnosed schizophrenic fared better without the administration of powerful anti-psychotic drugs. For more information click here

“The way things get into the DSM is not based on blood test or brain scan or physical findings. It’s based on descriptions of behavior. And that’s what the whole psychiatry system is.” — Dr Colin Ross, Psychiatrist

“Psychiatry has never been driven by science. They have no biological or genetic basis for these illnesses and the National Institutes of Mental Health are totally committed to the pharmacological line. … There is a great deal of scientific evidence that stimulants cause brain damage with long-term use, yet there is no evidence that these mental illnesses, such as ADHD, exist.” — Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist“No claim for a gene for a psychiatric condition has stood the test of time, in spite of popular misinformation.” — Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist

“In reality, psychiatric diagnosing is a kind of spiritual profiling that can destroy lives and frequently does.” — Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist

“…modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness…Patients [have] been diagnosed with ‘chemical imbalances’ despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and…there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like.” — Dr. David Kaiser, Psychiatrist

“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biochemical imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” — Dr. Ron Leifer, Psychiatrist

“No behavior or misbehavior is a disease or can be a disease. That’s not what diseases are. Diseases are malfunctions of the human body, of the heart, the liver, the kidney, the brain. Typhoid fever is a disease. Spring fever is not a disease it is a figure of speech, a metaphoric disease. All mental diseases are metaphoric diseases, misrepresented as real diseases and mistaken for real diseases.” — Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

“It has occurred to me with forcible irony that psychiatry has quite literally lost its mind, and along with it the minds of the patients they are presumably supposed to care for.”— David Kaiser, Psychiatrist

“DSM-IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document… DSM-IV has become a bible and a money making bestseller—its major failings notwithstanding.”— Loren Mosher, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

“All psychiatrists have in common that when they are caught on camera or on microphone, they cower and admit that there are no such things as chemical imbalances/diseases, or examinations or tests for them. What they do in practice, lying in every instance, abrogating [revoking] the informed consent right of every patient and poisoning them in the name of ‘treatment’ is nothing short of criminal.”— Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., Pediatric Neurologist

“Psychiatry [makes]… unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety, alcoholism and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin…This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention naïve and perhaps delusional.” — Dr. David Kaiser, psychiatrist

“In short, the whole business of creating psychiatric categories of ‘disease,’ formalizing them with consensus, and subsequently ascribing diagnostic codes to them, which in turn leads to their use for insurance billing, is nothing but an extended racket furnishing psychiatry a pseudo-scientific aura. The perpetrators are, of course, feeding at the public trough.”— Dr. Thomas Dorman, internist and member of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK

“I believe, until the public and psychiatry itself see that DSM labels are not only useless as medical ‘diagnoses’ but also have the potential to do great harm—particularly when they are used as means to deny individual freedoms, or as weapons by psychiatrists acting as hired guns for the legal system.” — Dr. Sydney Walker III, psychiatrist

“The way things get into the DSM is not based on blood test or brain scan or physical findings. It’s based on descriptions of behavior. And that’s what the whole psychiatry system is.”— Dr. Colin Ross, psychiatrist

“No biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling or any other so-called mental illness, disease, or disorder.” — Bruce Levine, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Commonsense Rebellion

“Unlike medical diagnoses that convey a probable cause, appropriate treatment and likely prognosis, the disorders listed in DSM-IV [and ICD-10] are terms arrived at through peer consensus.”— Tana Dineen Ph.D., psychologist

“It’s not science. It’s politics and economics. That’s what psychiatry is: politics and economics. Behavior control, it is not science, it is not medicine.”— Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus


Mental Illness with AD

It’s common for mental illness, particularly depression, to happen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. But accurate diagnosis and treatment has been known to improve cognitive function, according to Today’s Geriatric Medicine. It’s difficult enough living with AD, but the symptoms are compounded when it occurs in conjunction with other mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

In fact, the CDC says that serious symptoms of depression occur in up to 50 percent of older adults with Alzheimer’s, and major depression occurs in about 25 percent of cases. Depression is often intermingled with the belief that this is simply an older adult’s reaction and awareness of progressive decline. But there is more to it than that, with some research suggesting there is a biological connection between AD and depression.

Anxiety disorders are also common, happening in about 30 percent of adults who have AD. Anxiety can include anything from generalized nervousness and fear of leaving home to agitation regarding changes of routine and feelings of suspicion or paranoia. Anxiety can also be psychologically and physically linked to AD.


Parkinson’s Diseases

Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system and is caused by a gradual loss of brain cells. Some of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are muscle tremors, muscle cramps and rigidity in the joints, problems with balance and movement, and a condition known as bradykinesia (a delay in initiating movement).

There are however many other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including sleep problems, depression, and partial paralysis of facial muscles leading to an expressionless facial mask.


Study shows brain differences in interpreting physical signals in mental health disorders

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, found that the part of the brain which interprets physical signals from the body behaves differently in people with a range of mental health disorders, suggesting that it could be a target for future treatments.

Image credit: pixy.org, CC0 Public Domain

The researchers studied ‘interoception’ – the ability to sense internal conditions in the body – and whether there were any common brain differences during this process in people with mental health disorders. They found that a region of the brain called the dorsal mid-insula showed different activity during interoception across a range of disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders and anxiety disorders.

Many people with mental health disorders experience physical symptoms differently, whether that’s feeling uncomfortably full in anorexia, or feeling like you don’t have enough air in panic disorder.

The results, reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry, show that activity in the dorsal mid-insula could drive these different interpretations of bodily sensations in mental health. Increased awareness of the differences in how people experience physical symptoms could also be useful to those treating mental health disorders.

We all use exteroception – sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch – to navigate daily life. But interoception – the ability to interpret signals from our body – is equally important for survival, even though it often happens subconsciously.

“Interoception is something we are all doing constantly, although we might not be aware of it,” said lead author Dr Camilla Nord from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. “For example, most of us are able to interpret the signals of low blood sugar, such as tiredness or irritability, and know to eat something. However, there are differences in how our brains interpret these signals.”

Differences in interoceptive processes have previously been identified in people with eating disorders, anxiety and depression, panic disorder, addiction and other mental health disorders. Theoretical models have suggested that disrupted cortical processing drives these changes in interoceptive processing, conferring vulnerability to a range of mental health symptoms.

Nord and her colleagues combined brain imaging data from previous studies and compared differences in brain activity during interoception between 626 patients with mental health disorders and 610 healthy controls. “We wanted to find out whether there is something similar happening in the brain in people with different mental disorders, irrespective of their diagnosis,” she said.

Their analysis showed that for patients with bipolar, anxiety, major depression, anorexia and schizophrenia, part of the cerebral cortex called the dorsal mid-insula showed different brain activation when processing pain, hunger and other interoceptive signals when compared to the control group.

The researchers then ran a follow-up analysis and found that the dorsal mid-insula does not overlap with regions of the brain altered by antidepressant drugs or regions altered by psychological therapy, suggesting that it could be studied as a new target for future therapeutics to treat differences in interoception.

“It’s surprising that in spite of the diversity of psychological symptoms, there appears to be a common factor in how physical signals are processed differently by the brain in mental health disorders,” said Nord. “It shows how intertwined physical and mental health are, but also the limitations of our diagnostic system – some important factors in mental health might be ‘transdiagnostic’, that is, found across many diagnoses.”


Résumé

L'évaluation neuropsychologique est une méthode basພ sur la performance permettant d'évaluer le fonctionnement cognitif. Cette méthode est utilisພ pour analyser les conséquences cognitives des lésions cérປrales, de la pathologie cérປrale et des maladies mentales sévères. II existe plusieurs utilisations spຜifiques de l'évaluation neuropsychologique, comprenant le recueil d'informations diagnostiques, d'informations diagnostiques différentielles, d'évaluation de la réponse au traitement et de la prévision du potentiel fonctionnel et de la rຜupération fonctionnelle. Nous prévoyons que l'évaluation clinique neuropsychologique continuera à être utilisພ malgré les avancພs technologiques de l'imagerie, car il est déjà bien connu que des modifications cérປrales significatives peuvent être associພs à un fonctionnement cérປral presque normal tandis que certaines personnes sans lésion détectable à l'imagerie peuvent présenter des limitations fonctionnelles et cognitives importantes.


Neurosyphilis Information Page

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supports and conducts research on neurodegenerative disorders, such as neurosyphilis, in an effort to find ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Neurosyphilis

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supports and conducts research on neurodegenerative disorders, such as neurosyphilis, in an effort to find ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Neurosyphilis

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supports and conducts research on neurodegenerative disorders, such as neurosyphilis, in an effort to find ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Neurosyphilis

Neurosyphilis is a disease of the coverings of the brain, the brain itself, or the spinal cord. It can occur in people with syphilis, especially if they are left untreated. Neurosyphilis is different from syphilis because it affects the nervous system, while syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease with different signs and symptoms. There are five types of neurosyphilis:

  • asymptomatic neurosyphilis
  • meningeal neurosyphilis
  • meningovascular neurosyphilis
  • general paresis, and
  • tabes dorsalis.

Asymptomatic neurosyphilis means that neurosyphilis is present, but the individual reports no symptoms and does not feel sick. Meningeal syphilis can occur between the first few weeks to the first few years of getting syphilis. Individuals with meningeal syphilis can have headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes there can also be loss of vision or hearing. Meningovascular syphilis causes the same symptoms as meningeal syphilis but affected individuals also have strokes. This form of neurosyphilis can occur within the first few months to several years after infection. General paresiscan occur between 3 – 30 years after getting syphilis. People with general paresis can have personality or mood changes. Tabes dorsalis is characterized by pains in the limbs or abdomen, failure of muscle coordination, and bladder disturbances. Other signs include vision loss, loss of reflexes and loss of sense of vibration, poor gait, and impaired balance. Tabes dorsalis can occur anywhere from 5 – 50 years after initial syphilis infection. General paresis and tabes dorsalis are now less common than the other forms of neurosyphilis because of advances made in prevention, screening, and treatment. People with HIV/AIDS are at higher risk of having neurosyphilis.

Neurosyphilis is a disease of the coverings of the brain, the brain itself, or the spinal cord. It can occur in people with syphilis, especially if they are left untreated. Neurosyphilis is different from syphilis because it affects the nervous system, while syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease with different signs and symptoms. There are five types of neurosyphilis:

  • asymptomatic neurosyphilis
  • meningeal neurosyphilis
  • meningovascular neurosyphilis
  • general paresis, and
  • tabes dorsalis.

Asymptomatic neurosyphilis means that neurosyphilis is present, but the individual reports no symptoms and does not feel sick. Meningeal syphilis can occur between the first few weeks to the first few years of getting syphilis. Individuals with meningeal syphilis can have headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes there can also be loss of vision or hearing. Meningovascular syphilis causes the same symptoms as meningeal syphilis but affected individuals also have strokes. This form of neurosyphilis can occur within the first few months to several years after infection. General paresiscan occur between 3 – 30 years after getting syphilis. People with general paresis can have personality or mood changes. Tabes dorsalis is characterized by pains in the limbs or abdomen, failure of muscle coordination, and bladder disturbances. Other signs include vision loss, loss of reflexes and loss of sense of vibration, poor gait, and impaired balance. Tabes dorsalis can occur anywhere from 5 – 50 years after initial syphilis infection. General paresis and tabes dorsalis are now less common than the other forms of neurosyphilis because of advances made in prevention, screening, and treatment. People with HIV/AIDS are at higher risk of having neurosyphilis.

Penicillin, an antibiotic, is used to treat syphilis. Individuals with neurosyphilis can be treated with penicillin given by vein, or by daily intramuscular injections for 10 – 14 days. If they are treated with daily penicillin injections, individuals must also take probenecid by mouth four times a day. Some medical professionals recommend another antibiotic called ceftriaxone for neurosyphilis treatment. This drug is usually given daily by vein, but it can also be given by intramuscular injection. Individuals who receive ceftriaxone are also treated for 10 - 14 days. People with HIV/AIDS who get treated for neurosyphilis may have different outcomes than individuals without HIV/AIDS.

Penicillin, an antibiotic, is used to treat syphilis. Individuals with neurosyphilis can be treated with penicillin given by vein, or by daily intramuscular injections for 10 – 14 days. If they are treated with daily penicillin injections, individuals must also take probenecid by mouth four times a day. Some medical professionals recommend another antibiotic called ceftriaxone for neurosyphilis treatment. This drug is usually given daily by vein, but it can also be given by intramuscular injection. Individuals who receive ceftriaxone are also treated for 10 - 14 days. People with HIV/AIDS who get treated for neurosyphilis may have different outcomes than individuals without HIV/AIDS.

Neurosyphilis is a disease of the coverings of the brain, the brain itself, or the spinal cord. It can occur in people with syphilis, especially if they are left untreated. Neurosyphilis is different from syphilis because it affects the nervous system, while syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease with different signs and symptoms. There are five types of neurosyphilis:

  • asymptomatic neurosyphilis
  • meningeal neurosyphilis
  • meningovascular neurosyphilis
  • general paresis, and
  • tabes dorsalis.

Asymptomatic neurosyphilis means that neurosyphilis is present, but the individual reports no symptoms and does not feel sick. Meningeal syphilis can occur between the first few weeks to the first few years of getting syphilis. Individuals with meningeal syphilis can have headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes there can also be loss of vision or hearing. Meningovascular syphilis causes the same symptoms as meningeal syphilis but affected individuals also have strokes. This form of neurosyphilis can occur within the first few months to several years after infection. General paresiscan occur between 3 – 30 years after getting syphilis. People with general paresis can have personality or mood changes. Tabes dorsalis is characterized by pains in the limbs or abdomen, failure of muscle coordination, and bladder disturbances. Other signs include vision loss, loss of reflexes and loss of sense of vibration, poor gait, and impaired balance. Tabes dorsalis can occur anywhere from 5 – 50 years after initial syphilis infection. General paresis and tabes dorsalis are now less common than the other forms of neurosyphilis because of advances made in prevention, screening, and treatment. People with HIV/AIDS are at higher risk of having neurosyphilis.

Penicillin, an antibiotic, is used to treat syphilis. Individuals with neurosyphilis can be treated with penicillin given by vein, or by daily intramuscular injections for 10 – 14 days. If they are treated with daily penicillin injections, individuals must also take probenecid by mouth four times a day. Some medical professionals recommend another antibiotic called ceftriaxone for neurosyphilis treatment. This drug is usually given daily by vein, but it can also be given by intramuscular injection. Individuals who receive ceftriaxone are also treated for 10 - 14 days. People with HIV/AIDS who get treated for neurosyphilis may have different outcomes than individuals without HIV/AIDS.

Prognosis can change based on the type of neurosyphilis and how early in the course of the disease people with neurosyphilis get diagnosed and treated. Individuals with asymptomatic neurosyphilis or meningeal neurosyphilis usually return to normal health. People with meningovascular syphilis, general paresis, or tabes dorsalis usually do not return to normal health, although they may get much better. Individuals who receive treatment many years after they have been infected have a worse prognosis. Treatment outcome is different for every person.

Prognosis can change based on the type of neurosyphilis and how early in the course of the disease people with neurosyphilis get diagnosed and treated. Individuals with asymptomatic neurosyphilis or meningeal neurosyphilis usually return to normal health. People with meningovascular syphilis, general paresis, or tabes dorsalis usually do not return to normal health, although they may get much better. Individuals who receive treatment many years after they have been infected have a worse prognosis. Treatment outcome is different for every person.

Prognosis can change based on the type of neurosyphilis and how early in the course of the disease people with neurosyphilis get diagnosed and treated. Individuals with asymptomatic neurosyphilis or meningeal neurosyphilis usually return to normal health. People with meningovascular syphilis, general paresis, or tabes dorsalis usually do not return to normal health, although they may get much better. Individuals who receive treatment many years after they have been infected have a worse prognosis. Treatment outcome is different for every person.


Diseases affect brain's networks selectively, BrainMap analysis affirms

The brain possesses a complex architecture of functional networks as its information-processing machinery. Is the brain's network architecture itself a target of disease? If so, which networks are associated with which diseases? What can this tell us about the underlying causes of brain disorders?

Building on the extraordinary progress in neuroscience made over the past 30 years, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) published a study of 43 brain disorders -- both psychiatric and neurologic -- and strongly affirmed a theory termed the "network degeneration hypothesis." According to this theory, disease-related structural damage invades the functional networks used in human behavior and also recapitulates within "co-alteration networks."

Assessing metabolic demand within these networks, the study postulated metabolic stress in high-traffic hubs ("nodal stress") as a key underlying cause of network-based degeneration.

The research, published March 8 in the Nature journal Communications Biology, utilized BrainMap, a database of more than 20,000 published functional and structural neuroimaging experiments. The Research Imaging Institute at UT Health San Antonio is the birthplace and academic home of BrainMap. Confirming the impact of the BrainMap project, the National Institutes of Health in April renewed funding this work for four more years (years 14-17 of the project). This is a $2.4 million award.

The Communications Biology article was a meta-analysis of tens of thousands of experiments retrieved from BrainMap's database, said Peter T. Fox, MD, professor and director of the Research Imaging Institute. Dr. Fox and co-authors compared the connectivity patterns of large-scale functional networks used in normal behaviors with disease-related co-alteration networks and found striking overlap.

"The scope of structural and functional network correspondence is impressive," Dr. Fox said. "Fourteen of the 20 disease-related co-alteration networks observed spatially conformed to functional networks involved in normal behaviors -- such as movement, perception, emotion, language, problem solving, and memory encoding and recall -- to a highly significant degree."

Among the paper's findings:

  • Atrophy or hypertrophy of gray matter follows network-based principles.
  • Neurological diseases have stronger network associations than psychiatric diseases.
  • Some diseases have more diffuse effects across networks than others. Huntington's disease, for example, affects nine networks and schizophrenia affects seven, whereas major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder affect two each.

"Researchers can take these multi-dimensional results as a roadmap for more specific investigations, since biologically meaningful regions of interest can be derived from the component maps shared in our study," Dr. Fox said.

Continued funding of the BrainMap initiative is crucial. "Part of the upcoming work is working with the Texas Advanced Computing Center at UT Austin to create a high-performance computing BrainMap Community Portal, a tool to make large-scale, complex, multivariate analyses of this type more readily performed by the research community at large," Dr. Fox said.


Whats the difference between a neurological disease and a psychological disease? how do we divide them?

Now the boundary between the two is quite arbitrary, and admittedly not that clear, as addressed here and in the references therein. Both disciplines were preceded by neuropsychiatry, they diverged throughout the 20th century by virtue of different schools of thought, and the opinion is that with the advance of neuroscience, they will converge again in the next decades.

Isn't the mind just a section of the brain? So wouldn't a psychological disorder technically be a neurological disorder?

Hooray! A question I can help answer!

The easiest way to differentiate them, especially for the Reddit audience, is to consider Neurology

= Hardware and Psychology/Psychiatry

= Software. In other words, neurology deals with an equipment break-down (ie. destruction of neurones or their connections), whereas psychiatry/psychology deals with problems with how the equipment functions.

Of course, this explanation is imperfect, but it helps understand the arbitrary divide. I do acknowledge a great deal of literature in psychiatric illness with functional and even structural changes in the brain, however this divide remains. Of course, one must also consider that in a neurology clinic, up to 10-20% of people will be found to have ɿunctional' disorders (ie. psychosomatic), so there is already a bit of overlap each way.

I believe that as our knowledge of the brain improves, psychiatry and neurology will be one and the same thing eventually - in particular, I wonder if the reason we have this divide between neurology and psychiatry is because we don't yet understand how the brain works at a small-enough level.

As someone with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, my stance is that all psychiatric diseases are neurological, in that all of them involve the brain.

On the other hand, not all neurological diseases are "psychiatric" in the traditional sense -- if a minor lesion in your somatosensory cortex is making your pinky numb, that would be a neurological but not a psychiatric disease.

Neurological disease can affect an individual 'physically' anywhere from the brain tissue, blood supply, menningeal coverings, intracranial fluid, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves as well as neuromuscular junctions - there is also some overlap with rheumatology on a few muscular disorders. Examples include: stroke, parkinsons, MS, ALS, guillian barre, myasthenia gravis, and brain tumours Psychological disease is a little trickier, I am going to frame it in terms of psychiatric as this is what I am familiar with. The majority of psychiatric disease is one without definite physical changes in the body (I am anticipate I tirade of comments about fMRI investigations etc - but generally, except for some cross-over conditions with neurology like the dementias). The existence of the disease is largely based around the presence of behaviours, beliefs, expectations, experiences of the person - which are generally exaggerations of normal behaviour (grossly so in some circumstances), they become pathological when those characteristics are so exaggerated that the impact on that individuals life in a way that means they cannot maintain a sense of normality (for lack of a better term). - the named disease have come from Psychiatrists over time finding that groups of symptoms tend to occur together, be associated with similar risk factors and characteristics and be ameanable to similar treatments - this is not a perfect process and is ever evolving - and the authority on this is generally considered to be the DSM.



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