Degenerative nerve diseases or neurodegenerative diseases can impinge on several of our physical activities like movement, breathing, balancing, functioning of heart and talking. Some of these diseases are genetic in nature while some are caused because of stroke, alcoholism or tumors. Toxins, viruses and different types of chemicals may also cause these nerve diseases.
As per statistics there are more than forty five million people from nerve diseases and these degenerative diseases are often life threatening and many do not have any cure with treatment only helping to increase mobility or reduce pain.
Types of Degenerative Nerve Diseases
There are several types of degenerative diseases and treatment for each of them is different, these are Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, spinal muscular atrophy and Lewy body disease.
Most of these diseases begin during the middle age with Friedreich’s Ataxia being the exception in which children in the age group 5-15 are affected. Recent studies has found that in many of these degenerative nerve diseases existences of abnormal proteins has been found which hinder normal functions at the cellular level in the brain. Patient suffering from these diseases normally has loss of neurons as well as secondary scarring with hardly any evidence showing inflammation of tissues.
Many of the degenerative diseases are not curable so the main aim in the treatment process is to alleviate the symptoms. For example, in case a patient is suffering from Parkinson’s disease then he or she is given L-DOPA, which is a precursor of neurotransmitter dopamine.
But after a short period of time the patients stops getting any benefits from administration of this drug. Same in seen in case of Friedreich’s disease where the disease worsens with time and patient has to start using wheelchair after disease starts. Surgery, medication as well as physical therapy only help to reduce the symptoms but it does not prevent lack of mobility that comes with the disease.
We still do not have cure for many of the degenerative nerve diseases but with advancements in biochemistry and genetics we can expect cure to be found for most of these diseases in the near future. At present, only some of the symptoms can be checked with various medications and therapies but these do not help to fully cure the degenerative nerve disease.