Degenerative disease

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Degenerative disease is the result of a continuous process based on degenerative cell changes, affecting tissues or organs, which will increasingly deteriorate over time. [1]


In neurodegenerative diseases, cells of the central nervous system stop working or die via neurodegeneration. An example of this is Alzheimer's disease. [2] The other two common groups of degenerative diseases are those that affect circulatory system (e.g. coronary artery disease) and neoplastic diseases (e.g. cancers). [1]

Many degenerative diseases exist and some are related to aging. Normal bodily wear or lifestyle choices (such as exercise or eating habits) may worsen degenerative diseases, but this depends on the disease. [1] Sometimes the main or partial cause behind such diseases is genetic. [3] Thus some are clearly hereditary like Huntington's disease. [4] Sometimes the cause is viruses, poisons or other chemicals. The cause may also be unknown. [3]

Some degenerative diseases can be cured, but not always. It might still be possible to alleviate the symptoms. [1]


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Genetic disorder</span> Health problem caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome

A genetic disorder is a health problem caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome. It can be caused by a mutation in a single gene (monogenic) or multiple genes (polygenic) or by a chromosomal abnormality. Although polygenic disorders are the most common, the term is mostly used when discussing disorders with a single genetic cause, either in a gene or chromosome. The mutation responsible can occur spontaneously before embryonic development, or it can be inherited from two parents who are carriers of a faulty gene or from a parent with the disorder. When the genetic disorder is inherited from one or both parents, it is also classified as a hereditary disease. Some disorders are caused by a mutation on the X chromosome and have X-linked inheritance. Very few disorders are inherited on the Y chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parkinsonism</span> Medical condition

Parkinsonism is a clinical syndrome characterized by tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. These are the four motor symptoms found in Parkinson's disease (PD), after which it is named, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), and many other conditions. This set of symptoms occurs in a wide range of conditions and may have many causes, including neurodegenerative conditions, drugs, toxins, metabolic diseases, and neurological conditions other than PD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder</span> Medical condition

Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder or REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder in which people act out their dreams. It involves abnormal behavior during the sleep phase with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The major feature of RBD is loss of muscle atonia during otherwise intact REM sleep. The loss of motor inhibition leads to sleep behaviors ranging from simple limb twitches to more complex integrated movements that can be violent or result in injury to either the individual or their bedmates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limb–girdle muscular dystrophy</span> Medical condition

Limb–girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a genetically heterogeneous group of rare muscular dystrophies that share a set of clinical characteristics. It is characterised by progressive muscle wasting which affects predominantly hip and shoulder muscles. LGMD usually has an autosomal pattern of inheritance. It currently has no known cure or treatment.

Antisense therapy is a form of treatment that uses antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to target messenger RNA (mRNA). ASOs are capable of altering mRNA expression through a variety of mechanisms, including ribonuclease H mediated decay of the pre-mRNA, direct steric blockage, and exon content modulation through splicing site binding on pre-mRNA. Several ASOs have been approved in the United States, the European Union, and elsewhere.

Cerebral atrophy is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means a decrement in the size of the cell, which can be due to progressive loss of cytoplasmic proteins. In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Brain atrophy can be classified into two main categories: generalized and focal atrophy. Generalized atrophy occurs across the entire brain whereas focal atrophy affects cells in a specific location. If the cerebral hemispheres are affected, conscious thought and voluntary processes may be impaired.

Batten disease is a fatal disease of the nervous system that typically begins in childhood. Onset of symptoms is usually between 5 and 10 years of age. Often, it is autosomal recessive. It is the common name for a group of disorders called the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs).

Semantic dementia (SD), also known as semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of semantic memory in both the verbal and non-verbal domains. However, the most common presenting symptoms are in the verbal domain. Semantic dementia is a disorder of semantic memory that causes patients to lose the ability to match words or images to their meanings. However, it is fairly rare for patients with semantic dementia to develop category specific impairments, though there have been documented cases of it occurring. Typically, a more generalized semantic impairment results from dimmed semantic representations in the brain.

Parkinson-plus syndromes (PPS) are a group of neurodegenerative diseases featuring the classical features of Parkinson's disease with additional features that distinguish them from simple idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Parkinson-plus syndromes are either inherited genetically or occur sporadically.

Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), formerly called Hallervorden–Spatz syndrome, is a genetic degenerative disease of the brain that can lead to parkinsonism, dystonia, dementia, and ultimately death. Neurodegeneration in PKAN is accompanied by an excess of iron that progressively builds up in the brain.

Neuroimmunology is a field combining neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, and immunology, the study of the immune system. Neuroimmunologists seek to better understand the interactions of these two complex systems during development, homeostasis, and response to injuries. A long-term goal of this rapidly developing research area is to further develop our understanding of the pathology of certain neurological diseases, some of which have no clear etiology. In doing so, neuroimmunology contributes to development of new pharmacological treatments for several neurological conditions. Many types of interactions involve both the nervous and immune systems including the physiological functioning of the two systems in health and disease, malfunction of either and or both systems that leads to disorders, and the physical, chemical, and environmental stressors that affect the two systems on a daily basis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tauopathy</span> Medical condition

Tauopathy belongs to a class of neurodegenerative diseases involving the aggregation of tau protein into neurofibrillary or gliofibrillary tangles in the human brain. Tangles are formed by hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule protein known as tau, causing the protein to dissociate from microtubules and form insoluble aggregates. The mechanism of tangle formation is not well understood, and whether tangles are a primary cause of Alzheimer's disease or play a peripheral role is unknown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neurodegenerative disease</span> Central nervous system disease

A neurodegenerative disease is caused by the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, in the process known as neurodegeneration. Such neuronal damage may ultimately involve cell death. Neurodegenerative diseases include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple system atrophy, and prion diseases. Neurodegeneration can be found in the brain at many different levels of neuronal circuitry, ranging from molecular to systemic. Because there is no known way to reverse the progressive degeneration of neurons, these diseases are considered to be incurable; however research has shown that the two major contributing factors to neurodegeneration are oxidative stress and inflammation. Biomedical research has revealed many similarities between these diseases at the subcellular level, including atypical protein assemblies and induced cell death. These similarities suggest that therapeutic advances against one neurodegenerative disease might ameliorate other diseases as well.

Tourettism refers to the presence of Tourette-like symptoms in the absence of Tourette syndrome, as the result of other diseases or conditions, known as "secondary causes".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TMEM106B</span>

Transmembrane protein 106B is a protein that is encoded by the TMEM106B gene. It is found primarily within neurons and oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system with its subcellular location being in lysosomal membranes. TMEM106B helps facilitate important functions for maintaining a healthy lysosome, and therefore certain mutations and polymorphisms can lead to issues with proper lysosomal function. Lysosomes are in charge of clearing out mis-folded proteins and other debris, and thus, play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases that are driven by the accumulation of various mis-folded proteins and aggregates. Due to its impact on lysosomal function, TMEM106B has been investigated and found to be associated to multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy</span> Rare neurodegenerative disease whose symptoms include slowly progressive muscle wasting

Spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME), sometimes called Jankovic–Rivera syndrome, is a very rare neurodegenerative disease whose symptoms include slowly progressive muscle (atrophy), predominantly affecting proximal muscles, combined with denervation and myoclonic seizures. Only 12 known human families are described in scientific literature to have SMA-PME.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Synucleinopathy</span> Medical condition

Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the abnormal accumulation of aggregates of alpha-synuclein protein in neurons, nerve fibres or glial cells. There are three main types of synucleinopathy: Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). Other rare disorders, such as various neuroaxonal dystrophies, also have α-synuclein pathologies. Additionally, autopsy studies have shown that around 6% of sporadic Alzheimer's Disease exhibit α-synuclein positive Lewy pathology, and are sub-classed as Alzheimer's Disease with Amygdalar Restricted Lewy Bodies (AD/ALB).

RNA-dominant diseases are characterized by deleterious mutations that typically result in degenerative disorders affecting various neurological, cardiovascular, and muscular functions. Studies have found that they arise from repetitive non-coding RNA sequences, also known as toxic RNA, which inhibit RNA-binding proteins leading to pathogenic effects. The most studied RNA-dominant diseases include, but are not limited to, myotonic dystrophy and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muscle–eye–brain disease</span> Medical condition

Muscle–eye–brain (MEB) disease, also known as muscular dystrophy-dystroglycanopathy congenital with brain and eye anomalies A3 (MDDGA3), is a kind of rare congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), largely characterized by hypotonia at birth. Patients have muscular dystrophy, central nervous system abnormalities and ocular abnormalities. The condition is degenerative.


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