Neurogenic bladder and atonic bladder are two conditions which can create great discomfort and distress for the patient. Fortunately, both are treatable.
Neurogenic bladder is a condition resulting in the loss of bladder function due to damage to the nervous system. Atonic bladder, or flaccid bladder, can often be traced to a neurogenic source. This occurs when the bladder dilates and fails to empty completely.
Symptoms include urinary incontinence, a dribbling urinary stream, straining and pain during urination, or inability to urinate. Frequency and urgency are also red flags. Signs of atonic bladder mainly concern the inability to empty the bladder properly.
Because a disorder attributed to the neurological system is suspected, doctors may call for an X-ray of the skull and spine, along with an EEG to determine brain dysfunction. Ultrasounds of the bladder and ureters, as well as function tests to report the amount of fluid the bladder can hold and void, are also likely.
Doctors may prescribe medication to treat overactive bladder or incontinence as well as antibiotics to prevent a urinary tract infection. Catheterisation is likely for atonic bladder and an option for neurogenic. Surgery is available for both conditions when necessary.
Repeated X-rays, ultrasounds, and other function tests are likely to be ordered to keep tabs on the condition, as most cases tend to require constant attention. Regular self-catheterisation is often required for atonic bladder patients, though another technique involving manually pressing the bladder is an option to try.
Research is currently determining the effect of botulinum toxin A injections into the muscle which deals with bladder voiding (called the detrusor muscle). BladderDisorders.info reports that results are promising.