Neurodegenerative diseases: Definition, Characteristics, Treatment, and PreventionNeurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the fact that they damage the central nervous system. This results in cognitive impairment accompanied by changes in behavior and functioning of the organism. In this article, we will discuss these diseases: what are the neurodegenerative diseases, what are their characteristics or symptoms, what are their consequences and what are their cures? …and other interesting facts.
What are neurodegenerative diseases? Neurodegenerative diseases can be described as a group of conditions that affect the nervous system in a particular way: They cause the death of neurons, which in turn leads to the degeneration of nervous tie. This causes various neuropsychological circumstances, which are expressed differently depending on the disease. There are numerous neurodegenerative diseases, each of them with specific symptoms. In this article, the following neurodegenerative diseases are discussed in more detail:
What causes the appearance of a neurodegenerative disease? Currently, there is no specific cause that we know of that causes the development of these diseases. However, it is known that there are links with genetic and environmental factors. In addition, the constant studies on these diseases highlight age as the main risk factor. In the following, neurodegenerative diseases are. Their main characteristics called. It also shows how, despite the similar features, can be distinguished from each other and how they manifest in the person who suffers from it:
Alzheimer's disease: Alzheimer's neurodegenerative disease is defined as a brain disease that causes progressive loss of memory and way of thinking. In those affected, memory loss is so severe that the person can no longer go about their daily lives. Colloquially, Alzheimer's is often referred to as dementia, but Alzheimer's disease includes other symptoms besides dementia. The most important of these symptoms are: Memory changes that limit daily living; difficulty making plans or solving problems; limitations in performing routine tasks or chores; disorientation; difficulty with written and spoken language; loss of initiative or personality changes. Below is a video showing some real cases of people with Alzheimer's disease. The video illustrates the burdens placed on individuals living with sufferers of the disease and clarifies the symptomatology of the disease. There are neuropsychological assessments that can help identify cognitive deficits and thus help support the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Neurodegenerative diseases: Is there a cure?
Dr. Prusiner points out that it is important to continually research the neurodegenerative diseases so that cures can be found for this group of diseases. Since many people are affected by neurodegenerative diseases, and the probability of occurrence increases with higher life expectancy, their research is particularly relevant. Currently, the disease with the highest number of people affected is Alzheimer's disease, compared to Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.
According to Dr. Prusiner, there is still a long way to go before there will be cures for these diseases. However, steady research has already provided circumstantial evidence that helps to better understand the complexity of neurodegenerative diseases. It seems that all diseases classified as neurodegenerative diseases have one basic feature in common: a deficit in protein processing, although in each of these diseases proteins are processed differently.
It cannot be said with clarity whether a specific drug will be found to combat the above diseases. However, numerous studies point to treatment with stem cells. However, it is not yet clear how to stimulate the stem cells after they have been injected into the brain so that they establish connections. However, early detection of the disease is a promising sign, as degeneration in the brain is not yet so advanced and makes recovery of the cells more likely.
Finally, research has made great steps forward in the diagnosis of neurological diseases, which is positive for the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Positron emission tomography (PET) used. Thanks to these methods, it is possible to detect the degeneration caused by the diseases and thus initiate early treatment.
In conclusion, there is no concrete cure for these diseases to date. However, due to the continuous and detailed research of the diseases, there is hope to find further clues for the development of the diseases, thus improving the treatment options and thus slowing down the progression of the disease.
Neurodegenerative diseases: how to prevent and treat them?
The following are some guidelines regarding behavior and cognition that are efficient either to prevent the appearance of these diseases or to facilitate the management of the disease. Learn the importance of cognitive reserve to counteract the appearance of neurodegenerative diseases.
Parkinson's. Numerous studies suggest that exercise can help counteract the effects of this neurodegenerative disease. A sport such as running, walking, a team sport or the gym should be chosen. In addition, physiotherapy helps maintain proper balance and resistance, and brain gymnastics also helps. In addition, Parkinson's patients find some improvement in symptoms with dancing. Yes, indeed! Dancing has many beneficial effects, such as lower fatigue, strengthening social relationships, which leads to better self-esteem. There are clinically validated brain stimulation exercises for patients with Parkinson's disease. Alzheimer. People diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease have a long list of support programs available to help the patient have a better quality of life. Some examples are as follows: Participation in mood-improving activities (depending on the person's preference), behavioral interventions (against aggressiveness, to order eating and sleeping schedules). Affected people can benefit from a good cooperation of different health care institutions. Cognitive rehabilitation programs for Alzheimer's patients Multiple sclerosis. Factors that can be used to counteract the effects of this disease is the interaction of genetic predisposition with environmental factors. Recent research has made possible the detection of a possible predisposition through analyses. Multiple sclerosis sufferers are found to have an antibody that cannot be detected in healthy individuals. Further research is needed in this area in order to identify the causes of the disease. Which behaviors are recommended for people with multiple sclerosis?? There are a number of guidelines that help to improve the quality of life of patients: it is advisable to avoid tobacco use; when exercising, attention should be paid to breaks in order to avoid exhaustion; rehabilitation programs are also available for those affected. There are also cognitive stimulation programs for patients with multiple sclerosis. Huntington's chorea. This disease can be detected before birth (prenatally) with the help of a genetic analysis, even if no symptoms are present yet. Unfortunately, Huntington's disease does not yet have a cure or a treatment that can reduce the progression of the disease. However, there are medications that alleviate the motor and psychological symptoms. Patients are also offered special rehabilitation programs in which they learn to cope with the disease and the changes it brings. Translation from Spanish: Noelia Chaves Castano, psychologist at CogniFit.