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READ MORE ABOUT NEURODEGENERATION

NEURODEGENERATION

POPCORN FOR PARKINSON'S

     A neurological disorder is an disorder involving the nervous system. The most common ones include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease affecting three people per one thousand. Most of us have well functioning nervous systems allowing us to walk, speak, swallow and even laugh impulsively. When that system is impaired, all those functions become progressively difficult to control.

PARKINSON'S DISEASE

     Parkinson’s disease occurs when the neurons in the brain that manage movement die. The primary purpose of these cells are to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that sends signals from the body to the brain. Without the production of this hormone, everyday movements become impaired. Not only does that lack of Dopamine affect movements, but this hormone holds the responsibility of controlling our emotions. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both our physical and mental well being. Scientists still have not found out the malfunction in the body that causes the Dopamine producing cells to die.

     Symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors (trembling) in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head stiffness in the limbs. Other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease is slowed movement and impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls. Often the very first symptoms of Parkinson’s that many overlook is the inability to write properly. Difficulty in holding a pen or pencil properly may be a sign of the disease.

     Because the symptoms of Parkinson’s vary and often overlap other conditions, it is misdiagnosed up to 30 percent of the time and misdiagnosis is even more typical in the early stages. That is why it is imperative that followups with a doctor are done if any of the symptoms are prevalent. Studies show that hereditary causes of this disease are rare and that only 15 percent of those who have Parkinson's have a family history of it.

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

     Alzheimer's is the most common case of Dementia or memory loss. It occurs after complex brain changes followed by cell damage. Similar to Parkinson's, it is progressive and gradually worsens over time. Being the sixth leading cause in death in the US, most patients live four to six years after the diagnoses.

     Symptoms of this disease include memory loss, confusion with your setting and often misplacing items. However microscopic changes occur in the brain even before even before the first sign of memory loss. Research shows that while Alzheimer's is hereditary, it is more likely to be inherited from your mother than from your father.

     Even if a person has the slightest concern that they may have Alzheimer's, it is imperative that they see their doctor immediately because more than 5.4 million of the Americans with the disease don't even know they have it. According to a University of Cambridge study, education can lower the risk of getting Alzheimer's. In other words, the more years spent in full time education, the lower your risk is.

     According to the Mayo Clinic the best way to prevent any prospects of this deadly disease is to avoid smoking, having a balanced diet, control vascular risk factors (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc.) and being physically and socially active.