Chapter 10: Brain Damage, Neurodegeneration, and Neurological Diseases

10.5: Neurological and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Neurodegenerative disorders are illnesses characterized by a loss of nervous system functioning that are usually caused by neuronal death (Clark et al., 2018). Although some of these diseases occur in children and young adults, most of them occur in older adults. These diseases generally worsen over time as more and more neurons die. The resulting impairments may be predominantly cognitive, as in Alzheimer’s-type dementia, or predominantly motor, as in Parkinson’s disease, or a combination of the two, as in Huntington’s disease. The symptoms of a particular neurodegenerative disease are related to where in the nervous system the death of neurons occurs. For example, spinocerebellar ataxia is associated with neuronal death in the cerebellum, which causes problems with balance and walking. Neurodegenerative disorders include Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease. Here, we discuss Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis in more depth.

Text Attributions

This section contains material adapted from:

Clark, M.A., Douglas, M. & Choi, J. (2023). 35.5 Nervous System Disorders. In Biology 2e. OpenStax. Access for free at License: CC BY 4.0 DEED.


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Biological Psychology Copyright © 2024 by Michael J. Hove and Steven A. Martinez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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