Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) / Alzheimer’s / Parkinson’s belong to the group of neurodegenerative diseases. This means, they are diseases of the nerve system, which lead to damage of nerve cells and neurological symptoms.
It is discussed, if oxidative stress contributes to the development of those diseases. It is also speculated, whether cervical spine instability, which leads to oxidative stress, might then cause those neurodegenerative diseases. If we think about that, this would mean oxidative stress is the known cause of neurodegenerative diseases. And that is simply not clear by now. It is also unclear whether oxidative stress is the cause or more the consequence of neurodegenerative diseases.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia where plaques, consisting of dysfunctional protein which damages the cell, are formed in the brain. Possible influences are genetics, inflammation and risk factors such as diabetes and as previously described oxidative stress might play a role in this process.
Alzheimer’s is diagnosed through imaging tests like CT, MRI, PET and special dementia tests.
So far Alzheimer’s is not curable and only symptoms are treated.
What is ALS?
ALS is an incurable disease of motoneurons. The cause is so far unclear. Possible factors that might cause ALS are mutations on different genes. But this could not be definitely proven as well as the oxidative stress theory.
ALS is diagnosed through symptoms and EMG/ENG and only symptoms can be treated.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s does also belong to the group of neurodegenerative diseases and leads to the death of dopamine producing nerve cells. Parkinson’s appearance can vary a lot.
For Parkinson’s diagnostics mainly neurological tests and imaging is used.
Different drugs that influence the dopamine metabolism are used to treat Parkinson’s.
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