Therapeutic Areas / Central Nervous System

Central Nervous System

We have brought our expertise gained from other therapies into the world of neurosciences, one of the most challenging areas in medicine.

The Body’s Control Panel

The central nervous system comprises of the brain, spinal cord and retina, and is the processing centre of the body. At Cipla, we have a diverse range of medication for a variety of common central nervous system disorders.

It’s OK not to be OK

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has the sixth highest rate of suicide in Africa, with the data revealing that approximately 11.6 of every 100 000 people in the country completing suicide1. It is commonly accepted that the majority of suicides and suicide attempts occur among individuals who suffer from undiagnosed and untreated depression, with the WHO estimating that more than 300 million people are affected by depression worldwide2.

Considering these concerning statistics, about two years ago, Cipla started an educational campaign to create widespread awareness about the importance of mental health and to help eradicate stigma. We also wanted to emphasize that depression is in fact a medical condition and that mental health is equally important to physical health. Just as any other organ in the body can become ill or affected, so too can the brain. We wanted people to know that it’s OK not to be OK.

We hope to encourage honest, refreshing dialogues around mental health so that people don’t have to struggle in silence. As American actress Glenn Close stated, mental health needs “more sunlight, more candour, more unashamed conversation”.

Some of the signs and symptoms of depression include problems concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions, fatigue, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in things once pleasurable, overeating or appetite loss, persistent feelings of sadness and suicidal thoughts3.

Depression does not simply go away, and there is no shame in seeking professional help for it. Whether you are helping a friend, or need help yourself, you can always call the Cipla SADAG 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 456 789 or via WhatsApp on 076 882 2775.

Lean On Me

Gesondheid, Prontuit - Depression Tips

Gesondheid, Prontuit - Depressie S01E02

Preserving Memories

As a result of advances in medication, globally, people are living longer4. While longer life expectancy is a positive trend, the focus on cognitive wellbeing becomes incredibly important, as dementia becomes increasingly probable in an ageing population.

While some organs, such as a heart or lung can be transplanted, and doctors can perform hip replacements, this is not possible for the brain; so the best option is to try and focus on cognitive reserve.

Dementia is a debilitating brain disorder and greatly impacts the affected person as well their family and/or caregivers. Not only does it take away precious memories, it disrupts the person’s life in numerous ways.

It is estimated that by 2050, 115 million cases of dementia are expected worldwide (a substantial increase from the estimated 44.4 million people globally that were living with the condition in 20135), so it is vital to increase awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Dementia Patient Story

Gesondheid, Prontuit - Dementia Tips

Gesondheid, Prontuit - Demensie S01E05

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that, although most frequently diagnosed during the school years, affects individuals across their lifespan6.

It is characterized by symptoms of inattention, overactivity, and/or impulsiveness that are age inappropriate, persistent, and pervasive1. In the long term, ADHD is associated with a significant risk of educational failure, interpersonal problems, and mental illness7.

Gesondheid, Prontuit - ADHD Tips

Gesondheid, Prontuit - ADHD S01E06


Experiencing anxiety occasionally is part and parcel of life, such as before a test, or when making an important decision. But anxiety disorders go beyond temporary worry or fear – it is excessive. Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder/agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and others) are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders8. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships9.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depressive disorder, is characterised by fluctuating moods and energy levels10. It is a highly debilitating psychiatric illness that may affect as many as 1 in every 25 persons11. People with the disorder have highly disruptive episodes, frequent recurrences, and severe psychosocial impairments – even when not symptomatic2. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, the mood swings and other symptoms can be managed by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medication and psychological counselling (psychotherapy).

Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) - causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology


Epilepsy – also known as a seizure disorder – is the most common serious neurological disorder and is one of the world’s most prevalent noncommunicable diseases12. Epilepsy is characterized by an enduring (i.e., persisting) predisposition to generate seizures, unprovoked by any immediate central nervous system insult, and by the neurobiologic, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of seizure recurrences13.

Epilepsy (generalized, focal) - an Osmosis Preview

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory neurological disease of the central nervous system (CNS)14. The cause is unknown, but it appears to involve a combination of genetic susceptibility and a nongenetic trigger, such as a virus, metabolism, or environmental factors, that together result in a self-sustaining autoimmune disorder that leads to recurrent immune attacks on the CNS1.

The course of MS is highly varied and unpredictable. In most patients, the disease is characterized initially by episodes of reversible neurological deficits, which is often followed by progressive neurological deterioration over time1.

Multiple sclerosis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder characterised by a large number of motor and non-motor features that can impact on function to a variable degree15. It affects the human central, peripheral, and enteric nervous systems. The underlying pathological process progresses slowly but relentlessly and involves multiple neuronal systems16.

Rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and loss of postural reflexes are generally considered the cardinal signs of Parkinson’s1. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medication might significantly improve the symptoms.

What is Parkinson's Disease?


Schizophrenia today is a chronic, frequently disabling mental disorder that affects about one per cent of the world’s population17. The cause of the disorder remains unknown. In its most common form, schizophrenia presents with paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations late in adolescence or in early adulthood1.

Schizophrenia - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology


    1. World Health Organisation (WHO). World Health Statistics data visualizations dashboard. (2016). Available at:
    2. World Health Organisation. Depression. 1–4 (2015).
    3. Sobin, C & Sackeim, H. Psychomotor Symptoms of Depression. Accessed online:
    4. WHO. Ageing and health. available at: 1–5 (2018).
    5. Prevalence of dementia. Alzheimer’s South Africa 2019 (2019).
    7. The American Journal of Psychiatry. Nonpharmacological Interventions for ADHD: Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials of Dietary and Psychological Treatments. Accessed online:
    8. US National Library of Medicine. Treatment of anxiety disorders. Accessed online:
    9. National Institute of mental health. Anxiety disorders. Accessed online:
    10. The Lancet. Bipolar disorder. Accessed online:
    11. American Psychological Association. Bipolar disorder. Accessed online:
    12. Scott, R., Lhatoo, S., and Sander, J. The treatment of epilepsy in developing countries: where do we go from here?. Accessed online:
    13. Karger. The epidemiology of epilepsy. Accessed online:
    14. Goldenberg, M. Multiple Sclerosis Review. Accessed online:
    15. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry. Parkinson’s disease: clinical features and diagnosis. Accessed online:
    16. Braak, H. & Braak, E. Pathoanatomy of Parkinson’s disease. Accessed online:
    17. Nature. Rethinking schizophrenia. Accessed online: