The wide range of neurological conditions seen in the UK is summarized in Table 18.1. The pattern of practice has changed much in the last 40 years with the disappearance of poliomyelitis, and (almost) of neurosyphilis, the treatment for Parkinson’s disease, the use of newer anticonvulsants and now, the emergence of AIDS. Despite clinical neurology being primarily concerned with the organic conditions, ‘neurological’ symptoms may be the presenting features of common psychological illness (e.g. depression or anxiety) which require sympathy, interpretation and therapy.
Neurology in developing countries
Low standards of nutrition, hygiene and education, with widespread economic hardship, contribute to different patterns of disease. Common neurological conditions of the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and Africa include:
• Tuberculosis (meningitis, tuberculoma)
• Meningococcal meningitis
• Cerebral malaria
• Multiple vitamin deficiencies
• Neurological complications of AIDS (Africa and South East Asia)
Of these, only tuberculosis and meningococcal infection are seen commonly in Europe. AIDS, however, is increasing.
Prevalence rates often differ widely from annual incidence rates; these will be mentioned under the individual diseases.