What is neurodegenerative disease?
Neurodegenerative disease develops when nerve cells within your brain and peripheral nervous system die. You can develop neurodegenerative disease at any point, but it’s far more common after around age 65. In fact, aging is the most common risk factor for neurodegenerative disease.
Because there’s no cure for neurodegenerative diseases, early diagnosis and symptom management are especially crucial in maintaining a high quality of life.
What are the different types of neurodegenerative disease?
The two best-known neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease - Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. This disease destroys brain neurons involved in thought, memory, and language. Alzheimer’s causes memory loss and eventually impairs other aspects of brain function as well.
- Parkinson’s disease - Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder in which neuron damage triggers a dopamine drop in your brain. This can lead to a variety of physical issues, such as tremors and walking problems. Up to 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease also experience dementia, which causes mental issues.
While Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are the best-known neurodegenerative diseases, there are many others, including Huntington’s disease, motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and Lewy body disease, among others.
What are the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease?
Neurodegenerative disease symptoms can vary by disease and individual person. Some general symptoms associated with many neurodegenerative diseases include:
- Gait problems
- Balance issues
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
- Behavior changes
Some neurodegenerative diseases may cause only physical or only cognitive symptoms in the beginning, but it’s quite common to end up experiencing both kinds of problems as the disease progresses.
How is neurodegenerative disease treated?
Neurodegenerative disease treatment at Ventura Neuroscience Center depends on the disease and the particular symptoms you’re experiencing.
There are medications that can help with symptoms and potentially slow down disease progression, although they can’t replace lost neurons in your brain.
Lifestyle changes can also make major positive changes in the lives of people with neurodegenerative diseases.
Other cutting-edge treatment options, such as deep brain stimulation, may help with some neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Neurodegenerative disease treatment can slow down your condition’s progressions and improve your life quality dramatically.