Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction is a dysfunction of the urinary bladder due to disease of the central nervous system or peripheral nerves involved in the control of urination.
There are two major types of bladder control problems that are associated with a neurogenic bladder. Depending on the nerves involved and nature of the damage, the bladder becomes either overactive (spastic or hyper-reflexive) or underactive (flaccid or hypotonic).
What causes a Neurogenic Bladder?
Any condition that impairs the nervous system signaling to and from the bladder can create a neurogenic bladder.
It is often associated with spinal cord diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, spinal tumors, back injuries, herniated disks, and congenital spinal abnormalities including spina bifida. It may also be caused by brain tumors or other diseases of the central nervous system, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Stroke (cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or TIA . Peripheral nerve diseases such as, Diabetes, Alcoholism and Vitamin B12 deficiency can also affect the bladder.
Pregnancy can even affect bladder function by the compression, stretching and trauma of the nervous system during delivery.It is also a common complication of major surgery in the pelvis.
What are the symptoms of Neurogenic Bladder?
How is a Neurogenic Bladder diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a physical examination and ask details about your medical history, especially about any neurological problems such as back injury, stroke, or other neurologic diseases.
Your doctor may then order several tests of the nervous system and the bladder to diagnose a neurogenic bladder :
How is a Neurogenic Bladder treated?
The types of treatment for a neurogenic bladder are very similar to those for and overactive bladder. The correct treatment is determined by symptoms, type, and extent of nerve damage, and a thorough evaluation and discussion with the individual patient.
Sometimes an indwelling catheter called a Foley is left in the bladder for an extended period of time. Catheters prevent bladder distention by continually draining urine into a contained collecting unit.
Although following through with treatment and management plans for a neurogenic bladder may appear to create a burden, decreasing back pressure on the kidneys and preventing urinary tract infection will ultimately prevent kidney damage. If a neurogenic bladder is not treated, over years it can lead to renal disease and progress to kidney failure. Patients with a neurogenic bladder should be managed by both a urologist, and if necessary, a nephrologist for their lifetime.