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Cerebrovascular accidents (strokes, Chapter 64: The Central Nervous System: III. Traumatic, Vascular, Degenerative, & Metabolic Diseases) are a common cause of death and disability in the United States. They commonly complicate atherosclerotic and hypertensive arterial disease (see Chapter 20: The Blood Vessels). Cranial trauma (Chapter 64: The Central Nervous System: III. Traumatic, Vascular, Degenerative, & Metabolic Diseases) is a major problem in road traffic accidents and is responsible for a significant proportion of deaths in the 10- to 30-year age group.

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Bacterial meningitis, cerebral abscess, and viral meningoencephalitis (Chapter 63: The Central Nervous System: II. Infections) are the common infections of the central nervous system. Infections related to AIDS are increasing in prevalence. Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease (Chapter 64: The Central Nervous System: III. Traumatic, Vascular, Degenerative, & Metabolic Diseases) are common causes of severe disability in elderly patients. Neoplasms of the nervous system constitute a significant proportion of cancers in children (see Chapter 17: Neoplasia: I. Classification, Nomenclature, & Epidemiology of Neoplasms). In adults, metastatic neoplasms, glial neoplasms (Chapter 65: The Central Nervous System: IV. Neoplasms), and peripheral nerve neoplasms (Chapter 66: The Peripheral Nerves & Skeletal Muscle) occur.

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