Neurodegenerative diseases grow more common as we get older, and their symptoms can make day-to-day life difficult. In the past, it was widely believed that these diseases and their symptoms were just a side-effect of getting older. However, the vast majority of researchers and doctors now believe that these diseases are NOT a side-effect of aging. Instead, these diseases develop with symptoms that can be life-endangering. Here is some helpful information regarding neurodegenerative diseases including signs to look out for as well as treatment options.
What Is The Most Common Neurodegenerative Disease?
Unfortunately, neurodegenerative diseases are all too common throughout the United States with the most common neurodegenerative disease being Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Studies have shown that signs of AD can be found in 50-70% of autopsies conducted on those who experienced senile dementia (1). Senile dementia is the progressive loss of memory and other cognitive function after reaching the age of 65.
Studies in the United States have found that 2.5% of subjects aged 65-74 have had a clinical diagnosis of senile dementia. That number climbs to 4% in ages 75-79, 11% in ages 80-84, and 24% in ages 85-93. The same studies have also found that 55% of all cases of senile dementia are felt to have probable AD. In total, there are somewhere around three to four million Americans in the United States with AD, producing yearly societal costs upward of $100 billion.
Is MS A Neurodegenerative Disease?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered a neurodegenerative disease because the patient loses neurological function (2). Neurological deficits in MS patients are related to inflammatory demyelination and axonal degeneration. Due to the symptoms, MS is not only viewed as a neurodegenerative disease but an autoimmune and inflammatory disease as well.
Neuronal injury in the course of chronic neuroinflammation is a key factor in determining long-term disability in patients. Unfortunately, as it stands right now there is no known cure for MS. Treatment options are usually focused on speeding up the recovery from attacks and slowing the progression of the disease while also managing symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms of a Neurodegenerative Disease?
With neurodegenerative diseases, your brain will begin and the nerves that run through your brain will deteriorate over time. This can lead to several issues that begin to grow worse as time goes on. Recognizing the symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease can help you get the treatment options that you need in a timely manner. Here are are some neurodegenerative disease symptoms to look out for both in yourself and in family members:
- Memory loss
- Loss of inhibition
- Mood changes
It should be noted that these symptoms are also common in brain injuries, brain tumors, and mental disorders. That’s why it’s best to consult with your doctor so you can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment options. Symptoms such as headaches, nausea, changes in speed, and difficulty with movement are less common symptoms to be on the lookout for.
What Is the Cause of Neurodegenerative Disease?
Unfortunately, researches are still unsure as to what exactly the causes of neurodegenerative diseases are and when to expect them. Luckily, it’s no longer a widely accepted belief that neurodegenerative diseases are just a side-effect of aging. The vast majority of researchers now believe that these diseases are NOT a side-effect of getting old. Here are some of the known causes of these diseases:
- Lifestyle-related causes - I.E. smoking, drinking, poor diet, little exercise, etc.
- Nutrition-related causes
- Environmental influences
- Physical injury
Neurological disorders can affect an entire neurological pathway or a single neuron. Even a small disturbance to a neuron’s structural pathway can result in dysfunction. As a result, neurological disorders can result from a number of causes.
Can Degenerative Diseases Be Cured?
Recognizing the signs of neurodegenerative disease in yourself or a loved one could lead to treatment options that can prolong you or your loved one’s life. It depends on the type, but as of right now most of these diseases have no known cure. As mentioned early, the treatment options are designed to speed up the recovery time from attacks and slow the progression of the disease while also managing the symptoms.
There are no effective treatments for degenerative diseases in modern society, but we can use Western medicine to deal with the acute disorders or symptoms and use the advantages of other integrative treatments to assist Western medicine in improving the ADL of the patients. Integrative medicine can, sometimes, exhibit protective effects or slow the morbidity of these diseases.
What Are Some Rare Brain Diseases?
As we mentioned earlier, many brain diseases are caused by inflammation in the brain which can lead to vision loss, weakness, and paralysis. A healthy brain functions incredibly efficiently, making decisions in split seconds. However, issues that stem from brain diseases can be devastating, making once regular everyday tasks are nearly impossible to accomplish without assistance. Here is a list of brain diseases:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Pick’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
Some of these diseases are more common than others while the more rare brain diseases, such as Pick’s disease, occur far less. These rare diseases have similar symptoms, but because of the rarity. Less is known about them.
Supplements To Support The Brain
One substance 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, resulting in healthier cells. 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.