The 10 Most Common Neurological Symptoms

The neurological symptoms are those that arise as a result of altered or abnormal functioning of the nervous system. Although there are a wide variety of neurological manifestations, there are some more frequent neurological symptoms, which are frequently present in many of the pathologies that affect the nervous system.

Our brain, spinal cord and each of the nerves of our organism make up the nervous system. These structures work in a coordinated way to control all the functions of our body, voluntary and mechanical.

Neurological symptoms

When, due to different factors, one or more parts of the nervous system are altered, there may be deficits and difficulties in speaking, moving, maintaining attention, breathing, remembering, etc. (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

Neurological Symptoms

Neurological alterations may occur due to alterations of the primary type affecting the nervous system (Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury), or to the development of other neurological disorders (poisonings, infections, viruses, cardiac abnormalities, etc.).

Therefore, the neurological signs and symptoms are taken by the specialists along with other medical and neuropsychological tests to make possible diagnoses and prognoses about the occurrence of some type of neurological pathology or compromise of the nervous system.

In general, most people who develop neurological symptoms usually have more than one at a time. Although there is a wide variety, these are some of the most frequent symptoms or neurological signs:

More frequent neurological symptoms

1- Headache

Anyone can experience headache. Headache is one of the most common forms of pain and one of the main reasons we go to medical services (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015). In addition, headache or headache is one of the most frequent symptoms that relate to the nervous system (WHO, 2012).

It is not uncommon for many to feel oppression and discomfort around or over the head when we have been working for many hours or are tired. Or, on the other hand, recurring headaches that cause nausea, tiredness and / or sensitivity to light and noise (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

Statistical data report that approximately 47% of adults have suffered at least one headache in the past year (WHO, 2012).

Headache is usually the product of activities that require high effort, fatigue, or lack of sleep. When this happens, we refer to headache with the term headache (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

However, they can also be indicators of the development of a serious pathological process such as strokes , brain tumors, high fever, abuse of analgesic medication, etc. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

Episodes of headache can be alleviated or improved with the use of appropriate treatment; however, if no intervention is used, headache can be severe and interfere significantly with activities of daily living (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

Recurrent headaches, due to the intensity and frequency of pain, are often accompanied by social, personal and, therefore, impairment of quality of life (World Health Organization, 2012).

Clinical classifications distinguish different types of headache: migraine, tension headache, cluster headache and rebound headache (World Health Organization, 2012).

  • Migraine: Migraine is a type of headache in the form of a recurrent attack that causes pulsating or throbbing sensations that usually affect one side of the head. It usually causes other symptoms such as increased sensitivity to light, noise; nausea and vomiting. The cause of migraine is the release of different inflammatory and pain-causing substances around the nerves and blood vessels of the brain (World Health Organization, 2012, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).
  • Cephalic tensional: as the type of cephalic mass commune. . The pain of hut may be slight or moderate with sensations of person in the decanter part of the care, hut or cello, edemas, present in both lades of the hut. Seta related to situations of esters, muscular problems or alterations emotionalism, poor tango, sullen disappear ulna vet queue the trigger situation is resolved (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).
  • Headache in outbreak: this is a type of uncommon headache that is characterized by different frequent and recurrent episodes of headache. In general, these episodes are brief but really painful. It is usually focused around areas close to one eye and is accompanied by obstruction of the nasal cavity of the same area, or facial inflammation (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).
  • Bounce Headache: It is the most common type of secondary headache and develops as a result of excessive consumption of analgesic drugs used to combat recurring headaches. It often presents feelings of oppression persistently (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

2- Loss of strength or numbness of a limb

Often, many people go to medical services with sensations of burning, numbness, peak tingling or stinging, in the upper limbs (arms and hands) and lower (legs and feet), this condition is called parenthesis (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2015).

Usually, parenthesis occurs temporarily and is usually caused by the existence of some type of condition that puts pressure on one of the nerves. However, it can also be a symptom of acquired injury or a wide variety of diseases or disorders that cause damage to the nervous system.

On the other hand, it is also frequent to refer sensations of muscle weakness in clinical consultations. This weakness or lack of muscle strength can be generalized or focused in a body area and is usually present as a consequence of the occurrence of cerebrovascular accidents, pathologies that affect motor neurons or diseases of the demyelinating type (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

3- Dizziness

Many people have felt on one or several occasions various sensations of stunning, loss of balance, perception of movement, etc. (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

This condition, known as dizziness, can be caused by various circumstances such as dizziness, motion sickness or sudden drop in blood pressure.

Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness, symptoms usually occur in the form of nausea, loss of balance or feeling of imminent loss of consciousness (DM, 2016).

The causes of vertigo are varied, and are related to alterations of the inner ear or cerebral. Some of these causes may be benign or more serious, while others may even threaten the individual’s survival (Furman et al., 2016).

On the other hand, motion sickness or motion sickness, it is a feeling of discomfort caused by the movement, especially during a trip. The most characteristic symptoms: nausea, vomiting, paleness, sweating, excessive salivation, drowsiness, lethargy and persistent fatigue (Zhang et al., 2016).

Kinetics or kinetic dizziness is a normal physiological response to the unusual perception of movement (Sanchez-Blanco et al., 2014). That is, there is a conflict between visual perception and the perception of the inner ear, essential in the control of balance (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).

4- Fainting and loss of consciousness

Generally, when we pass out, that is, when we lose consciousness in a transient way, it is due to a decrease in cerebral blood flow. This situation usually lasts a few minutes and recovers quickly and completely (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

Different situations can cause a person to lose consciousness: stress, fear or phobias, intense pain, dehydration, etc. (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

However, there are other situations in which loss of consciousness is prolonged over time.

The disorders of human consciousness , reflect a significant alteration of consciousness and awareness that usually stem from severe brain lesions caused local damage to neuronal level disconnections between them (Friedman and Schiff, 2014).

The main disorders of consciousness are: coma, state of minimal consciousness and cloistered syndrome.

  1. Memory Problems

Alterations and memory problems have now become a central issue for both clinical research and medical services.

Technical advances and increased life expectancy have enabled the detection of multiple alterations in memory capacity.

Some of the problems of memory may refer to daily forgetfulness without the presence of a pathological etiology; however, others will be the result of mild or severe cognitive impairment (dementia).

Daily memory failures

Having difficulty remembering the name of someone we have met recently, the location of the keys or forgetting a phone number are considered memory failures that any of us can have on a daily basis (Harvard Hath Publications, 2013).

These can occur at any period of life, usually because we do not pay enough attention. Therefore, people who do not have any type of pathology can experience this type of loss or memory impairment.

However, some are more evident as age increases, unless they are extreme and persistent; do not have to be considered indicators of a memory deficit (Harvard Hath Publications, 2013).

Mild cognitive impairment (DCL)

On the other hand, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered an intermediate stage between normal or expected cognitive impairment as a consequence of aging and the development of a more severe decline, dementia (Mayo Clinic, 2012).

People with mild cognitive impairment may have more significant or severe impairment of memory, language, or executive function than is expected for their age, but these symptoms do not interfere with their daily lives (National Institute on Aging, 2016).

No single specific cause for mild cognitive impairment has been identified. Current scientific evidence shows that on occasion, mild cognitive impairment may show some brain changes similar to those found in some types of dementia (Mayo Clinic, 2012).


At a higher or more serious level, dementia is defined as a chronic and / or progressive syndrome characterized by a severe impairment of cognitive functions, more significant than is considered a product of normal aging (World Health Organization, 2015).

At the cognitive level, most of the functions are affected and deteriorated (Baize et al., 2005): memory, learning, language, orientation, processing speed, etc. In addition, this clinical condition usually presents along with deterioration in both the control of emotions and behavior (World Health Organization, 2015).

Dementia is one of the leading causes of dependence and disability in the elderly world-wide (World Health Organization, 2015) and is the product of medical conditions that cause injuries and damage to the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, among others (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013).

Generally, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013).

  1. Cognitive difficulties

Besides the alterations in the amnesic sphere and as a result of the progression of the etiological pathologies of this the deterioration of different cognitive abilities (attention, executive function, language, etc.), we must take into account that there are multiple neurological disorders that also go to with a generalized alteration of the cognitive sphere.

Some of the most frequent pathologies are (Neurosintomas, 2016):

  • Cerebrovascular Accidents.
  • Cranioencephalic trauma.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Disorders of the motor neuron.
  • Brain tumors.

When sudden difficulties arise to fix our attention, to perform different activities in parallel, to remember events, to answer questions, to follow simple orders, to orient ourselves, to express or to understand the language, we must pay special attention to these conditions, since they could be the result of the suffering of some compromise at the level of the nervous system.

On the other hand, factors such as stressful situations or lack of sleep will have a significant impact on general cognitive functioning and therefore, may cause some alterations in the optimal development of these abilities.

There are also psychiatric conditions such as depression and schizophrenia among others, which will alter the coordination and efficiency of each of our cognitive abilities.

  1. Speech problems

Typically, the language-related problems most frequently consulted in medical services refer to difficulties or inability to produce language.

Language articulation problems, in most cases involving early care and emergency services, are the result of a cerebrovascular disorder that is affecting areas that support language function.

  1. Visual symptoms (do not see well, see double)

There are several neurological pathologies that are going to cause:

  • Loss of vision.
  • Double vision.
  • Blurry vision.

In general, these symptoms will occur as a result of cortical areas responsible for processing visual information or as a result of inflammation or injury of the optic nerve (which is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eyes to the brain).

Some diseases or disorders related to neurological events that affect vision are: optic neuritis, papilledema, retro bulbar neuritis, and toxic amblyopic, or injuries higher visual pathways.

In the case of double vision or diplopic, it is a situation in which two images of the same object are perceived, can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Although diplopic can develop due to multiple conditions some of these may be:

  • Brain aneurysms.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Cranioencephalic trauma.
  • Brain tumors.
  1. Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain, offers the following definition of pain?? Is it an unpleasant and annoying sensory and emotional experience that may be associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage? (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014).

Pain does not only occur as a consequence of classic physical pathologies such as muscle, bone or organ damage. Severe and disabling pain sensations may occur as a result of disruption of various pain control centers at the brain level.

For example, neuropathic pain is a type of pathology that occurs as a result of a nerve injury. This type of pain can occur in any body area and is described by some patients as a feeling of intense heat or burning (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014).

In addition, neuropathic pain can develop as a result of pathologies that affect nerve integrity: trauma, diabetes, chemotherapeutic treatments, etc. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014).

  1. Tremors, spasms, involuntary contractions

Trembling is an involuntary, rhythmic, repetitive muscular movement involving as swinging oscillations of one or several parts of the body (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012).

Typically, the tremor usually affects the hands, arms, head and legs. In some cases, tremor occurs as a symptom of a primary neurological disorder or as a side effect of some medications (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012).

The cause of tremor in most cases refers to alterations in the brain areas responsible for the control and regulation of muscle movements (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012).

Some of the neurological disorders that can produce tremors are: multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson, Huntington, etc.) (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012).

Also Read: Huntington’s disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

On the other hand, the consumption of medications that include amphetamines, corticosteroids or components used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders can also cause tremors (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012).


The spasticity refers to an increased muscle tone leading to unusual stress. Muscles become tense and rigid and some reflexes become stronger or exaggerated (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

Elevated muscle tone may significantly interfere with gait, movement, or the ability to articulate language (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

In many cases spasticity may have a neurological origin due to: cerebrovascular accidents, cerebral palsy, head trauma, multiple sclerosis or other neurodegenerative diseases (National Institutes of Health, 2015).

Involuntary movements

One of the most characteristic involuntary movements in some neurological pathology, especially Huntington, is chorea.

The term Korea refers to how people with Huntington’s disease contort, twists, or spins by performing constant and uncontrollable movements like a dance (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014).

On the other hand, in ancient times they referred to it as dance or disease of San Vito, similarly to other diseases that occur with chorea (Arango-Lasprilla et al., 2003)

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