Many people in the UK live with a long-term neurological condition (LTN). The Royal College of Physicians estimates as many as 10 million (2008). Of course, not all of these will require any psychiatric input but psychiatric problems are common in this group of patients.
LTN’s don’t go away. They are life-long, very often progressive and severely disabling in the long run. Whilst the condition is usually diagnosed by a neurologist (and primary care falls to a neurologist) neurologists often ask neuropsychiatrists/psychiatrists to input into management, for reasons you’ll see below.
Long-Term Neurological Conditions Diagnoses
The familiar picture of someone stooped, shuffling, with a tremor and a blank expression is the usual image most people have of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a relatively rare disorder that often runs in families and so is genetically inherited. The condition often presents when sufferers are still in the prime of life, with a variety of symptoms, both neurological and psychiatric.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
We still don’t know the cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but the condition affects many people in the UK, often beginning insidiously with a brief illness, with rapid recovery.
Psychiatric Problems After Brain Injury
The after effects of brain injury are often long-term.
Uncommon Neurological Disorders
There are many diseases which, thankfully, are relatively uncommon but when present do cause physical illness as well as psychiatric symptoms.