Neurological conditions affect the young and old, rich and poor, men and women and people from all cultures and ethnicities. My biggest pet peeve is that neurological conditions are very poorly understood by the general public. Levels of awareness are low even about relatively common conditions, such as epilepsy.

Today, I was joined by Professor Sharma, who is a Reader in Clinical Neurology at Imperial College London. He is also a Consultant Neurologist at Hammer smith Hospital and was formerly the head of acute stroke services at Hammersmith Hospitals Acute Stroke Unit .It is also worth noting that Dr Sharma is trained in general medicine, clinical pharmacology and neurology and is the only UK neurologist to hold specialist European accreditation in the management of hypertension.

Neurological conditions are varied and some of the common conditions are Alzheimers, Dementia, Amnesia and epilepsy, to name a few. Due to the fact that there is not enough discussion on these subjects I wanted to speak to Dr Sharma about these conditions in more detail to raise awareness.

There are more than 600 neurological diseases. Major types include;

  • Diseases caused by faulty genes, such as Huntington’s disease and Muscular Dystrophy
  • Problems with the way the nervous system develops, such as Spina Bifida
  • Degenerative diseases, where nerve cells are damaged or die, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diseases of the blood vessels that supply the brain, such as stroke
  • Injuries to the spinal cord and brain
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Cancer, such as brain tumors
  • Infections, such as meningitis

A common misconception is if a person stammers or stutters like Sharukh Khan did in Darr with his “K.K.K.K.Kiran” then it may be a neurological problem. However, Professor Sharma said that this was not linked to neurological issues in any way. But if anyone was experiencing such issues they could look into getting assistance from a speech therapist.

Dr Sharma said that it was important to have a good diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables to assist those with dementia and it was important to keep busy. He said it was very common for people to forget where they left their keys. However some signs of people suffering from dementia were not forgetting days but doing things such as “putting tea bags in the fridge” or “setting the house on fire.” If someone suffers from dementia it was imperative to ensure they were not left alone as they could prove to be a danger to themselves and others.

A lot of people asked about epilepsy, and I was curious to know what we should do if someone had a fit in front of us. Professor Sharma said that if someone had a fit in front of us, we should clear the space and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES try and open their mouth or put our fingers in their mouth, because due to the power of their fit they could actually bite off our fingers, without knowing they were doing so. Professor Sharma said every fit was a worry however if a fit ran on for longer than half an hour it was considered a “severe fit” which would definitely require hospitalization.

It was a very busy show and a lot of people were concerned about epilepsy, dementia and neurological problems. With the proper care and support it is fair to say it can be controlled and should not be neglected by anyone.