Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder that is a result of damage to the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin is required to assist with the transmission of electrical impulses and messages along the nerves, therefore when it is damaged messages are not transmitted effectively along the nerve fibre causing a disruption in function.
The symptoms and/or the loss of function depend on the area of demyelination and symptoms can range from a loss of mobility and sensation to a difficulty with concentration and memory.
There are four main types of MS: benign, relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive and primary progressive. Due to the variety of symptoms, unpredictability and progress of MS the rehabilitation process is unique to each individual and the difficulties with which they present.
Please see “What is MS?” Booklet
Free Helpline: 0808 800 8000 – For further information contact the MS Society
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder due to the degeneration of the cells within the substantia nigra (an area of the brain thought to be responsible for the initiation, planning and execution of movements). There is a subsequent loss of available dopamine (neurotransmitter) causing a disruption of normal functioning within this area of the brain. The main symptoms are tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia – slowness of movement – with a number of associated difficulties including lack of facial expression, flexed posture, shuffling gait, micrographia etc.
Free Helpline: 0808 800 0303 - For further information contact Parkinson’s UK
A stroke occurs when there is disruption to the blood supply to the brain either due to a clot or a haemorrhage, thus causing damage within the brain and subsequent loss of function. The WHO definition is “a syndrome of rapidly developing clinical signs of focal disturbance of cerebral function, with symptoms lasting 24 hours or longer or leading to death, with no apparent cause other than vascular origin”.
The symptoms following a stroke are dependent on the blood vessel affected and the area of brain supplied. Symptoms range from weakness and loss of sensation to cognitive and perceptual difficulties. Rehabilitation is aimed at facilitating the restoration of function and/or the compensation and adaptation to the loss of function within all activities of daily living.
Helpline: 0303 3033 100 - For further information contact The Stroke Association