You may not have heard the term ‘neurodegeneration’ or ‘neurodegenerative disease’ before, but you will no doubt be familiar with the term ‘dementia’ and perhaps have (or know someone with) an elderly relative suffering from this terrible disease. Dementia is an example of a neurodegenerative disease, and it is in fact an umbrella term encompassing a range of different diseases, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.
During this section, you will learn more about the many different types of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. We will discuss causes, symptoms and current treatments available. Most importantly we will address the inevitable rise in the number of cases over the coming years and the devastating socio-economic impact this will have.
Work through the activities and see if you can answer the following questions:
1. What is meant by the term ‘neurodegeneration’?
2. Give 5 examples of neurodegenerative diseases
3. Discuss the similarities and differences between Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease