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.1
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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
You don’t have to toss and turn every night. Find out 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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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 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
- 1. Newman T. All about the central nervous system. 02 March 2016. Medical News Today. Available online at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307076. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 2. Cherry K. A list of psychological disorders. 08 August 2019. Verywellmind. Available online at https://www.verywellmind.com/a-list-of-psychological-disorders-2794776. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 3. Sleep disorders: Insomnia. Available online at https://www.sassm.org/sleep-disorders/insomnia.htm. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 4. Epilepsy. Facts about epilepsy. Available online at https://epilepsy.org.za/new/uploads/files/Facts_about_Epilepsy_Brochure_A4.pdf. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 5. Stovall J. Bipolar disorder in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis. 15 January 2020. UpToDate. Available online at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/bipolar-disorder-in-adults-epidemiology-and-pathogenesis. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 6. Rodrigues J. Parkinson’s Disease. A general practice approach. 3rd Edition. Updated February 2017. Parkinson’s Australia. Available online at https://www.drjulianrodrigues.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Parkinsons-disease-GP-Manual-20171.pdf. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 7. Fischer BA, Buchanan RW. Schizophrenia in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis. 13 March 2019. UpToDate. Available online at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/schizophrenia-in-adults-epidemiology-and-pathogenesis. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 8. Herman AA, Stein DJ, Seedat S et al. The South African Stress and Health (SASH) study: 12-month and lifetime prevalence of common mental disorders. S Afr Med J 2009;99:339-344.
- 9. What is ADD/ADHD and how does it affect children? Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa. Available online at https://www.adhasa.co.za/index.php/9-articles-adhasa/about-add/66-what-is-add-adhd-and-how-does-it-affect-children. [Accessed 14 February 2020].
- 10. Karuranga S, Iyer JK. Access to mental healthcare: how should pharma companies channel their efforts? 10 October 2016. Access to Medicine Foundation. Available online at https://accesstomedicinefoundation.org/media/atmf/2016-Access-to-mental-healthcare.pdf. [Accessed 14 February 2020].
- 11. Epilepsy fact sheet. 2017. National Department of Health. Available online at http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/component/phocadownload/category/337-epilepsy. [Accessed 14 February 2020].
- 12. Epilepsy. Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Available online at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20350093?p=1. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 13. Colin F. Bipolar Disorder. The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) Treatment Guidelines for Psychiatric Disorders. S Afr J Psychiatr 2013;19:164–171.
- 14. Parkinson’s Disease. Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Available online at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 15. Patient education: Schizophrenia (The Basics). UpToDate. Available online at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/schizophrenia-the-basics. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 16. Baldwin D. Generalized anxiety disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis. 03 April 2018. UpToDate. Available online at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/generalized-anxiety-disorder-in-adults-epidemiology-pathogenesis-clinical-manifestations-course-assessment-and-diagnosis. [Accessed 17 February 2020].
- 17. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). What is ADHD? 26 August 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html. [Accessed 14 February 2020].