Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder. It is characterized by atrophy of several areas of the brain and nerve cell loss. This includes the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex.
The cortex (outer layer) of the brain is severely affected by corticobasal ganglionic degeneration. This is especially true in regard to the fronto-parietal areas of the brain. These regions of the brain are located near the center-top of the head.
However, deeper areas of the brain are also affected by corticobasal ganglionic degeneration. The basal ganglia is one of the affected regions. This is where the name “corticobasal” is derived from.
Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is a disorder that usually advances slowly. The signs and symptoms that are produced by corticobasal ganglionic degeneration are usually the result of the combined loss of brain tissue in all of the regions of the brain that are affected.
Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is similar in several ways to frontotemporal dementia. This is true clinically, genetically and pathologically.
Frontotemporal dementia is a broad, umbrella term for a diverse group of uncommon diseases that are a form of dementia. Frontotemporal dementia primarily involves the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
Dementia is a loss of brain function that is a characteristic of certain disorders. Dementia affects thinking, judgment, behavior and language.
Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration takes place most of the time when a person is between the ages of 45 and 70. Women are affected by this disorder more often than men are.
Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is known by other names. It is also referred to as CBD, corticobasal degeneration and CBGD.
The cause of corticobasal ganglionic degeneration has not yet been discovered. At the current time, there is no strong evidence that corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is an inherited disorder. There are also no known risk factors that have been identified for corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, such as toxins or infections.
There have been studies done of brain tissue of people who have corticobasal ganglionic degeneration. These studies have revealed certain characteristic cell changes that involve a brain protein that is known as tau. These studies may be of use to researchers who are trying to find the cause or causes of corticobasal ganglionic degeneration.
Signs that you might have Corticobasal Ganglionic degeneration
The first signs and symptoms that are caused by corticobasal ganglionic degeneration usually take place on one side (unilateral). However, as this disorder progresses, the signs and symptoms usual start to involve both sides (bilateral). Some of the possible signs and symptoms are:
- Difficulty with maintaining balance
- Movements that are clumsy, shaky or slow
- The loss of movement control
- Poor coordination
- The loss of intellectual ability
- Speech that is hesitant and halting
- Difficulty with speech that is progressive
- Impairment of visual-spatial functions and skills
- Problems with comprehending language that are progressive
- Stiffness or rigidity
- Problems with walking
- Difficulty with short-term memory, such as misplacing objects or repeating questions
- Dysphagia (problems with swallowing)
- Difficulty with muscle control, such as problems controlling the muscles of the mouth and face.
- The Challenges of a Dementia Patient (nytimes.com)