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Corticobasal degeneration

Corticobasal degeneration Causes

Recent research shows that this condition is caused by cells that contain abnormal form of protein tau. In most cases, it is not genetic.

Corticobasal degeneration Definition

Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is an incurable neurological disorder that manifests itself through muscle rigidity and speech problems. Symptoms usually begin surfacing when patients reach 60 years old, affecting one side of the body and eventually progressing to both sides in 6 to 8 years. It may affect speech first before interfering with muscle movement.

Corticobasal degeneration Diagnosis

An autopsy will conclusively determine the occurence of CBD. It will indicate that the brain tissue of the CBD patients is characterized by nerve cell loss, gliosis and atrophy (shrinkage) of the posterior frontal and/or parietal lobes and substantia nigra. Swollen nerve cells that contain neurofilament, and inclusions similar to those seen in Pick's disease, may be observed, as well.

Corticobasal degeneration Symptoms and Signs

There are three key symptoms observed among CBD patients, namely, alien hand syndrome (the inability to recognize one's hand as part of his body and lack of hand movement control), apaxia (inability to move body purposely) and trouble with spatial orientation showing through the difficulty in using utensils or dressing, and acalculia (difficulty in carrying mathematical calculations such as addition and subtraction). There are also Parkinson's disease-like symptoms associated with CBD including poor coordination, akinesia (absence of movements), rigidity, impaired balance, and dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing). Another sign of the disease is speech problem.

Corticobasal degeneration Treatment

There is no cure and no treatment to slow down the progression of this condition. Symptoms do not respond to therapy, while medication treating the Parkinson's disease-like symptoms are observed to have no significant and long-term effect.

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