How are Neurodegenerative Diseases Treated?

How are Neurodegenerative Diseases Treated?

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When it comes to keeping up with your health, there’s arguably nothing more important than your brain health. Neurodegenerative diseases can be hereditary or they can occur after an illness or injury. While there is currently no known cure for neurodegenerative diseases, there are treatment options to limit the symptoms. Here is some important information pertaining to these diseases and popular treatment options. 

What Is A Neurodegenerative Disease?

A neurodegenerative disorder is a type of disease in which cells of your central nervous system completely stop working or die off. These diseases typically grow worse over time and as of now, have no cure. They can be genetic or they can be caused by medical ailments such as a tumor or stroke. 

Neurodegenerative disorders can also be caused by outside factors such as alcohol consumption or exposure to certain viruses or toxins. You can do what you can to avoid these diseases as best as possible by avoiding unhealthy lifestyle choices. Some of the most common neurodegenerative disorders include Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. 

How Do You Treat Neurodegenerative Disease?

As we already mentioned, there are no neurodegenerative disease treatments that can cure a patient of their disorder entirely. As of now, current treatments presented to patients with these disorders are palliative and aim to slow cognitive decline. Studies (1) have found that the effects of these treatments are marginal and they are prescribed because there currently isn’t a better option. 

Approved treatment options against AD, a neurodegenerative disease utilize two different strategies. The first strategy is symptomatic treatments, where anticholinesterase inhibitors are used as symptomatic treatment. The second strategy is a disease-modifying treatment that uses antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in an attempt to modify the disease. 

How To Treat Neurological Diseases Naturally

The importance of natural, plant-based products when fighting neurological diseases can not be overstated. In fact, during the last decade out of the 26 natural drugs that were approved, seven were for the treatment of neurological disorders and three were for Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that natural products are the single most important source of drug leads. 

This is important because it is believed that nearly 450 million people around the world are suffering from a neurological disorder. This can include dementia, epilepsy, headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, or neuroinfections. These disorders take up over 6% of the global burden of disease with the burden being higher in low and middle-income countries. 

What Is The Best Treatment For Parkinson’s Disease?

When it comes to diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, there is no specific test that gives a definitive answer. Your doctor will diagnose Parkinson’s disease based on your medical history, a review of your symptoms, and an examination. Just like every other neurological disease, Parkinson’s can not be cured. However, medications can help control your symptoms, often dramatically. Surgery may be necessary in advanced cases, and lifestyle changes can also make a difference. Here are some treatment options:

  • Medications - Some popular medications for treating Parkinson’s include Carbidopa-levodopa, inhaled carbidopa-levodopa, dopamine agonists, MAO B inhibitors, and amantadine
  • Deep brain stimulation - With this treatment, a surgeon will implant electrodes into a specific part of your brain. These will be connected to a generator in your chest that sends electrical pulses to your brain, reducing your Parkinson’s symptoms
  • Eating healthy - Foods high in fiber can help prevent constipation, which is a common symptom of Parkinson’s
  • Exercise - Exercising can improve your muscle strength, flexibility, and balance, each of which is disturbed by Parkinson’s
  • Avoiding falls - In the later stages of the disease, you may be more prone to falling
  • Laser treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Again, there is no sure-fire treatment option that will permanently get rid of the disease. However, these treatments can help alleviate the symptoms, making your day to day life easier. 

How Is Neuroinflammation Treated?

Neuroinflammation is the activation of the brain’s innate immune system in response to an inflammatory challenge. A chronic state of inflammation can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, and cancer. Here are four components of treatment:

  • Pain relief - Standard nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches
  • Neuroinflammation control - Low-dose corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, microglial suppressors, and nutritional supplements
  • Spinal fluid flow exercises - Walking arm swings, upper body gyration, and deep breathing
  • Neuro-regeneration with B12

There is no definitive treatment to get rid of neuroinflammation for sure but these treatments can help reduce the unwanted side effects.

How Do You Treat Nervous System Disease?

Neuroradiology is a branch of neuroscience medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating nervous system problems. Doctors implement several different treatment techniques to try and tackle nervous system disease. Here are some of the treatments:

  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Endovascular embolization
  • Intra-arterial therapy for stroke
  • Radiation oncology
  • Needle biopsies
  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty

Microsurgery may be necessary in some cases to treat problems in the brain and surrounding structures. This type of surgery is invasive and requires the surgeon to make an opening in the skull. This allows the surgeon to work on very small structures. 

Can You Heal A Damaged Brain?

There are two different types of brain injuries, both of which disrupt the brain’s normal functioning. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force such as a blow to the head which causes the brain to move inside the skull. An acquired brain injury (ABI) happens at the cellular level. This can be caused by a tumor or a stroke. Here are some neurological disorders treatment options:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Physiological support

These treatment options are designed to help with physical, emotional, cognitive, perceptual, and behavioral changes that can frequently happen after a brain injury. 

Supplements Can Help Your Brain Health

One supplement that can help prevent cognitive dissonance, as well as other aging side-effects, is spermidine. This is because spermidine helps induce something called autophagy. This is the body’s process of replacing old and potentially damaged cell parts with newer, healthier ones. Autophagy literally means ‘self-eat.’

This process helps keep you feeling and looking young while also dramatically lowering your chances of developing aging diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. While it is possible to get your recommended daily intake of spermidine through your diet, it’s recommended to take supplements so you ensure you get the right dose. Simply taking your supplements with your dinner is a great way to remember to take spermidine supplements every night. 


Resources:

  1. Natural Products as an Emerging Therapeutic Alternative in the Treatment of Neurological Disorders
  2. New Hopes and Challenges for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Great Opportunities for Young Neuroscientists