Front Range Functional Medicine

Neurologic Disease

Neurologic disease

Neurological diseases affect the brain, spinal cord, and/or nerves. These encompass more than 600 disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.

These disorders can result in symptoms such as paralysis, muscle weakness, impaired memory, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain, and altered levels of consciousness.

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that as many as one billion people worldwide suffer from neurological disorders and their sequelae (or direct consequences).

■ Dementia

Dementia is a term for a general decline in mental ability. There are different types of dementia but all involve the loss of various cognitive abilities including memory, executive function, language, and visuospacial abililty. Many dementias are progressive meaning they worsen over time.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It results from damage to brain tissue in particular to areas of the brain involved with memory. In Alzheimer’s disease tangles of proteins get deposited within the brain and these interrupt connections between brain cells. This damage results in progressive issues with memory, thinking, and behavior.

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia cases and is currently listed as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. For most sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms first appear in their mid-60s.

There has been no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, new research shows that we can intervene by addressing the various causes of brain inflammation and restore healthy brain function especially if this is found early on. Dr LaPerriere is a certified practitioner in Dr Bredesen’s reversing cognitive decline protocol.

■ Migraines and Other Headaches

Migraines are intense headaches that typically come with other symptoms, such as the following:
1. Nausea/Vomiting
2. Light sensitivity
3. Pain behind one eye or ear
4. Pain in the temples
5. Temporary vision loss

Anti-nausea drugs and abortive or preventive medication are usually prescribed for migraines. While headaches can be remedied by pain relievers some people who experience severe migraine spells have to seek treatment at an emergency room.

■ Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term neurodegenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system. This disorder alters the brain’s nerve cells in charge of producing dopamine, leading to progressive degradation of motor function. Symptoms are involuntary tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and inability to walk unassisted. Problems with thinking and behavior may also happen.

The cause of Parkinson’s remains unknown, although experts believe that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

■ Neurodegenerative Disorders

This is an umbrella term that includes conditions which mainly affect the neurons in the brain, resulting in progressive nerve cell deterioration and/or death. Many of the regular bodily activities may be affected, such as balance, movement, talking, breathing, and even the normal heart beat.

These diseases include the following:
1. Alzheimer’s disease
2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
3. Friedreich’s ataxia
4. Huntington’s disease
5. Lewy body disease
6. Parkinson’s disease
7. Spinal muscular atrophy

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