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For many people, especially older ones, the fear of developing a neurodegenerative disease is always there, hovering behind them like a malevolent cloud. The loss of control that comes with a neurodegenerative disease is something that nobody wants to face, but thousands of people are forced to every year. Thankfully, there are scientists and pharmaceutical companies working around the clock to develop new treatments, therapies, and even cures for these deadly, degenerative diseases. If you're looking for more information about these treatments or about neurodegenerative diseases in general, let Amnestix be your guide.
Though almost everyone is familiar with the major players in the neurodegeneration game, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, few actually understand what a neurodegenerative disease does to your brain and body. While there are many different pathways, all neurodegenerative diseases have the same result: they impair the brain's ability to send signals to the muscles and organs in the rest of the body. Some neurodegenerative diseases attack the cells themselves, which the body cannot replace once they are dead. Other diseases attack receptors and block the cells from sending chemical messages.
Aging and the accompanying process of natural cell death makes people more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases, but that does not mean everyone who grows old will have to watch their cognitive functions drain away. Some people remain lucid until the moment of their deaths. In fact, scientists are now beginning to understand the large role that genetics plays in susceptibility to genetic diseases. In fact, some early onset neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, can be tested for so treatment can begin before the patient starts showing symptoms.
There are many different neurodegenerative diseases, however, and not all of them can be tested for. Alzheimer's is one of the most prominent neurodegenerative disease. It causes dementia in older people. While Alzheimer's affects cognition, ALS affects muscle function and strikes between 40 and 60. Huntington's involves the complete elimination of all nerve cells, preventing even automatic body functions from continuing by late middle age. Friedrich's Ataxia attacks the nervous system and spinal chord and can appear in people as young as five years old. Parkinson's and Lewy Body Disease are two similar conditions affecting muscle and cognitive function that appear in elderly people.
The scariest factor in the neuromuscular disease equation is that there are no known cures for any of the big name conditions. Clinical trials are being conducted on drugs that purport to reverse or retard the progress of Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases, and on vaccines that can block people carrying the defective gene from developing the actual disease. However the treatment process is currently just to alleviate the worst of the symptoms as the disease progresses. Memory games can help Alzheimer's patients retain their lucidity and coordination games such as Nintendo can help people with neuromuscular effects. For more information on specific treatments, check out the articles on this website.
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