Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
Corticobasal degeneration is a rare and progressive neurodegenerative condition distinguished by the break down of certain parts of the brain, specifically the basal cortex and basal ganglia. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the cerebrum that is involved in several bodily functions like motor function and language processing; the basal ganglia, on the other hand, is a group of subcortical nuclei that aid in movement.
Currently, there is no known definite cause for corticobasal degeneration. This disease is not inherited, nor is there any evidence to suggest that toxins or infectious agents can cause a person to develop it. As per RareDiseases.Info.NIH.gov, corticobasal degeneration is sporadic in the majority of cases. Research has linked corticobasal degeneration to tau proteins, which are microtubule-associated proteins commonly found in neurons. People who have corticobasal degeneration tend to have abnormal tau levels in their brain cells; why this occurs is unknown.
The vast majority of patients with corticobasal degeneration usually have it between 50 and 80 years of age. In its early stages, corticobasal degeneration tends to affect the limbs and causes the patient to experience:
As the disease progresses, the patient will begin to exhibit more severe symptoms like:
In its most advanced stages, corticobasal degeneration will often rob patients of their ability to move their limbs. Some may require assistance from others or may need a wheelchair. People in these stages of corticobasal degeneration will undergo several other symptoms, namely:
Although similar to Parkinson’s disease, corticobasal degeneration greatly differs in that its symptoms cannot be mitigated by the administration of the drug levodopa.
As a neurodegenerative disease, corticobasal degeneration primarily impacts the brain. However, it can harm other organs and organ systems as it worsens over time.
For instance, the dysphagia associated with corticobasal degeneration can result in respiratory issues. Being unable to swallow can cause food particles or fluids to enter the lungs and lead to chest infections. This can then progress into aspiration pneumonia, a life-threatening breathing condition.
Though there aren’t any foods that can totally prevent the onset of corticobasal degeneration, there are some that can slow down its progression. In general, foods rich in folate and vitamins B6 and B12 are said to be essential in maintaining healthy brains.
Specific brain-healthy foods and beverages include:
Corticobasal degeneration has no cure, so the most that can be done for those with this condition is to help them manage the symptoms. This course of treatment will usually call for:
Corticobasal degeneration is a rare, progressive disease that affects specific regions of the brain. People who have this disease will experience increasingly worsening symptoms that range from muscle stiffness to short-term memory loss to dementia to difficulty swallowing. People with corticobasal degeneration are at risk of other health complications, such as aspiration pneumonia. Corticobasal degeneration appears similar to Parkinson’s disease, but the medication that is usually given to people with Parkinson’s has no effect on corticobasal degeneration.
At the moment, there is no cure for this disease. Treatment will involve caring for the patient and helping them live out their daily lives. Medication may be prescribed, while therapy may be provided as needed.
Tagged Under: Tags: Corticobasal Degeneration