What is the central nervous system?

Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. The term ‘central’ is used because it combines information from, and coordinates activity across your entire body.

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Sanofi’s commitment to your mental health includes improved access to our products; driving awareness of mental health amongst patients and communities; efforts to reduce stigma; strengthening patient-doctor interactions, and training healthcare workers.10


Between 30 – 40 % of adults are affected by insomnia. Symptoms include difficulty falling asleep; waking up too early in the morning; difficulty staying asleep and waking up feeling unrefreshed. Lack of sleep can cause daytime tiredness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and irritability.3
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How good sleep habits can help you beat insomnia
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Epilepsy is a long-term condition that affects 1 in every 100 South Africans. Symptoms of epilepsy include brief periods of confusion; staring into space; uncontrollable jerking movement of the arms and legs; feelings of fear, stress or worry and loss of consciousness or awareness. In the majority of cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. The good news is that 70 % of children and adults with epilepsy can have their seizures completely controlled with anti-epilepsy medication.4,11,12
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Tips for managing your epilepsy booklet

Bipolar disorder

At some point in their life, 1 – 3 % of adults may be affected by bipolar disorder. Symptoms range from manic episodes (e.g. unusual and persistently elevated mood, irritability, hyperactivity, impulsive or distracted behaviour), hypomanic episodes (a mild form of mania) and major depression (e.g. depressed mood, little to no interest in daily activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia, tiredness and recurrent thoughts of death). Treatment for bipolar disorder includes medication and psychotherapy.5,13

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is an illness in which there is a slow breakdown of certain nerve cells in the brain. The exact cause of Parkinson’s Disease is not known, but factors like genetic causes or exposure to toxins or environmental factors could increase your risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Symptoms include tremor (shaking); slowing of movements; rigid muscles; poor posture and balance; speech changes and writing changes. The symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease can be managed with medication and/or surgery.14
Get more information 
A guide to managing Parkinson’s Disease


About 1 % of the world’s population suffers from schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations (hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling or tasting things that are not there); delusions (believing things that are not true); trouble thinking or speaking in an organised way; not showing much emotion; not changing facial expressions; not moving or talking much; not keeping clean; struggling with learning, remembering or solving problems. Schizophrenia is treated with medication, counselling and other forms of support.7,15


Almost 16 % of South Africans may suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder include poor sleep, feeling restless or wound-up, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, irritability and muscle tension. In some people, generalised anxiety disorder may be accompanied by major depression, social phobia and panic disorder. Treatments for generalised anxiety disorder include medication and psychotherapy.8,16

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Between 8 – 10 % of South Africans have ADHD. It is usually diagnosed in children (aged 5 – 7 years old) and can last into adulthood. The exact cause of the condition is unknown. Signs and symptoms of ADHD in children include excessive daydreaming, forgetfulness, squirming and fidgeting, talking too much, making careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risks, having difficulty getting along with others. Depending on what approach best suits your child, treatment for ADHD includes a combination of medication and behaviour therapy.9,17