Causes of Neurodegeneration

Neurodegeneration happens due to the progressive degeneration and/or the death of nerve cells. It can be a terrifying experience watching someone you love deal with a neurodegenerative disease or worry that you may be at risk of developing one.

Because there is so much to know about neurodegeneration, the team at spermidineLIFE® is giving you information from what causes it to how you can prevent it.

The health of our brains and remembering the important parts of our lives is important so it’s crucial we learn what we can to take the steps necessary to protect ourselves and the ones we love from neurodegeneration.

What Causes Neurodegeneration?

The word neurodegeneration stems from “neuro,” which designates nerve cells and “degeneration,” which refers to the loss of structure or function. So neurodegeneration basically refers to a condition affecting the neurons.

There are actually hundreds of different neurodegenerative disorders, but most attention is given to a few of the more common ones namely Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Huntington disease.

The biggest risk factor is increasing age. As our life expectancy increases and the growth rate of people age 65 and older in industrialized countries start to outpace that of the population as a whole, there is an increased rate of people suffering from some kind of neurodegenerative disorder.

Some neurodegenerative diseases are genetic, meaning they can be passed down in the family. However, with recent advancements in genetics, researchers have been looking at the genes that may cause it.

What Are the Neurodegeneration Symptoms?

Symptoms can vary depending on what kind of neurodegeneration disease a person is afflicted with. The most common symptoms tend to be:

  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness, including small or important things
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Loss of inhibition
  • Changes in mood

People with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia, tend to experience loss of cognitive and memory functions.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder and people afflicted tend to experience tremors, slow movements and even increased muscle tone.

What Is the Most Common Neurodegenerative Disease?

Even though there are hundreds of neurodegenerative diseases and a few of them are more well known, the one that is the most common is Alzheimer’s disease.

The name stems from a Bavarian psychiatrist named Alos Alzheimer who described the unusual findings in a woman as the most common basis for late-life cognitive failure. The woman died after suffering from memory loss, disorientation and unpredictable behavior.

Autopsy results in patients with senile dementia show that amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which were brought up in 1907, appear to be the underlying cause in 50 to 70 percent of cases.

Senile dementia is the progressive loss of memory and other cognitive functions that occur in people aged 65 and older. If it happens prior to a person being 65, it is known as pre-senile dementia.

How Can You Prevent Neurodegeneration?

We know that our brain is important. If it stops functioning, we stop functioning. So keeping it healthy is crucial to our very own existence since 90 percent of the brain stem’s output keeps our body functioning. If a neuro dies, it’s dead. So what can you do to keep your brain healthy?

The brain needs three things to function properly: oxygen, glucose and stimulation. Sounds simple enough, but let’s look further into it.


If you have poor circulation anywhere else in your body, there is a chance you have poor circulation in your brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen (as well as glucose) to function. Without enough, the brain has trouble signaling where to send blood to needed muscles and tissues.


Blood sugar issues, either elevated or low, will affect how the brain functions. And just like oxygen, the brain needs steady glucose to function properly. Without it, the brain will have trouble signaling which muscles and tissues need blood.

Lack Of Stimulation

The brain needs stimulation to function properly. This includes a variety of activities, like exercise, music, art, math and reading.

Another cause of neurodegeneration is not protecting the brain from substances that should not be there. This is anything from alcohol to stress.


You can also improve the brain with these steps:


Decrease Inflammation

Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help the stomach, which actually helps brain function.

Take Fatty Acids

Research shows fatty acids, like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), can help brain function.

How Does Neuroinflammation Contribute To Neurodegeneration?

Neuroinflammation is initially a protective response by the brain, but too many inflammatory responses are detrimental. When neuroinflammation is chronic, it can lead to the onset or progression of neurodegenerative diseases (1).

Neuroinflammation can happen from a variety of ways including:

  • Aging
  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Toxins

What are the Signs of Neurological Disorders

Signs can be either emotional or physical. It depends on the type of disorder a person has as well as what part of the body is affected.

Emotional Symptoms

People tend to look for physical symptoms first, but emotional ones should not be disregarded. Someone may experience mood swings, depression, delusions or even sudden outbursts with a neurodegenerative disease.

Physical Symptoms

People may experience some more well-known symptoms such as tremors or cognitive issues, but these symptoms should also be looked into:

  • Paralysis, either partial or complete
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of sensation, either partial or complete
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty reading or writing
  • Unexplained pain
  • Decreased alertness

It’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you or someone you know experiences any of those symptoms.

Can You Regenerate Brain Cells?

It used to be thought that people were born with all of the brain cells they would ever have. But research now shows that may not be true. People have the capacity to develop new cells that may actually enhance cognitive function (2).

Scientists found that cells in the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning are capable of being regenerated in a laboratory. For now, it’s recommended to make sure you eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and also make sure you engage in activities that require using the brain like music, reading or even doing puzzles.

How Spermidine Effects Brain Health

We cannot claim to cure or heal any illness or disease. But there are proactive steps you can take to combat the effects of aging to live a long and healthy life from eating right and exercising to taking the right supplements.

Spermidine is a supplement that triggers the body’s own natural autophagy process that recycles old, damaged cells in order for new and healthy cells to form. Healthy cells throughout the body aid brain health by allowing the cells in the brain to function at the highest efficiency possible.

Healthy cells can combat illnesses and diseases. Spermidine can be found in many different types of foods, but rarely do we eat a high enough quantity of food that contains spermidine to reap all of its benefits, especially as we age and our bodies need more. That’s why spermidine is available as a supplement.

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  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.