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Neurodegenerative Disorders — Destruction of the Human Body

Neurodegenerative Disorders — Destruction of the Human Body

Intro:It is nothing short of remarkable what the human body can accomplish. From being able to decipher the complexities of reality with our powerful brains to being able to experience the world through our senses and emotions, we have truly been blessed. Yet, this is not without a cost. Sometimes, our bodies can be so cruel and deprive us of the joy of life. Some of the most terrible culprits that do this are neurodegenerative diseases, of which some will be explored in this article. 

Alzheimer’s Disease:

Probably the most well-known neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease results in the progressive loss of memory and cognitive capabilities, otherwise known as dementia. In its first stages, Alzheimer’s Disease causes minor memory issues, such as forgetting about the content of recent conversations. As the disease advances, one’s memory worsens and additional symptoms develop, including difficulty making decisions, negative personality changes, and reduced motor functions. Eventually, this disorder causes people to forget their loved ones and to even swallow, leading to death by asphyxiation/starvation. The leading cause for Alzheimer’s Disease is believed to be one’s age, but genetics, environment, and lifestyle also play an important role. As of this moment, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but there are various treatments designed to slow down the disease’s progression or help cope with the impending symptoms (CDC). At a minimum, there are currently around 50 million people suffering from this disease worldwide, a number that is expected to triple by 2050 (BrightFocus). 

Parkinson’s Disease:

Another extremely well-known neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s Disease negatively affects our motor functions and movement. In its early stages, it may cause a slight tremor in your hand or your speech might be slightly slurred. As the disease progresses, however, these symptoms grow worse and expand, resulting in severe tremors, painful muscle stiffness, extreme communication difficulties, and impaired automatic movements (ex. blinking, swallowing, etc). The exact cause of Parkinson’s Disease is unknown, but some risk factors include genes, old age, and being a male. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, but there are various medication and tools that help slow down its progress & cope with the symptoms (MayoClinic).

Huntington’s Disease:

Huntington’s Disease causes a person’s physical, mental, and emotional capacities to deteriorate in various ways. Tragically, it combines many symptoms of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease since a person suffering from Huntington’s Disease will experience forgetfulness, slurred speech, personality changes, and difficulties walking. As opposed to Parkinson’s Disease, however, the exact cause of Huntington’s Disease is known. In short, an error in the “huntingtin” gene causes this disease, and unfortunately, it can be passed down to one’s offspring. In fact, “every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene” (HDSA). There is no known cure for this disease.

Conclusion:

Indeed, after seeing these three neurodegenerative diseases, it becomes clear that no human being deserves to experience them. There is some hope, however, and it lies in gene editing through CRISPR, which may have the capability to delete faulty genes that are linked to these diseases. 

Amado Krsul

My name is Amado Krsul. I am a junior from Croatia who was raised in Bolivia and loves video games (mostly Apex Legends and Rocket League). My favorite food is paella. A word that would describe me would be industrious.

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