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Neurodegenerative Diseases Specialist

Memphis Neurology

Neurology Specialists located in Germantown, TN & Southaven, MS

Neurodegenerative diseases affect the neurons of the brain and body, causing debilitating physical and cognitive symptoms. Board-certified neurologist Shiva Natarajan, MD, and his team at Memphis Neurology provide accurate diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, and many other neurodegenerative conditions at two convenient locations in Germantown, Tennessee, and Southaven, Mississippi. To schedule an evaluation for a neurodegenerative disease, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Neurodegenerative Diseases Q&A

What is a neurodegenerative disease?

Neurodegenerative diseases affect your neurons, the cells that make up your nerves, spinal cord, and much of your brain. When neurons become damaged, your body can't replace them. Therefore, nerve signals can't travel between your brain and your body as they normally should.

As your neurons continue to break down and eventually die, you suffer from chronic, debilitating symptoms that grow progressively worse. Neurodegenerative diseases can affect your movements, your mental function, or both. 

What are the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases?

Different neurodegenerative conditions cause various symptoms. Some of the most common neurodegenerative diseases that Memphis Neurology diagnoses and treats include:

Dementia

Dementia results from damage to brain neurons. Dementia symptoms include:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Inability to reason, plan, or complete tasks
  • Difficulty with speech and communication
  • Problems with motor function
  • Psychiatric symptoms

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. 

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s disease affects the neurons in the brain that produce dopamine. This neurotransmitter has many functions, including mood and movement regulation.

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include:

  • Tremor
  • Stiffness
  • Slowed movement
  • Balance problems

As Parkinson's progresses, it can interfere with walking, talking, swallowing, or speaking. It can also cause problems with internal organs and lead to mood disorders like depression. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease. It causes degeneration of the neurons in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in loss of control over your voluntary muscles. 

Symptoms of ALS include:

  • Difficulty using your hands
  • Difficulty walking
  • Speech problems
     

Over time, ALS causes a complete loss of movement, leading to respiratory failure. 

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes your immune system to attack myelin, a protective material that surrounds the neurons in your brain and spinal cord. 

The most common symptoms of MS include:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Shocking sensations
  • Abnormal movements

MS symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition.

Which treatments can address neurodegenerative disease?

No cure exists for neurodegenerative diseases, but treatment can help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. The experienced team at Memphis Neurology designs a custom treatment plan based on the type of neurodegenerative condition you have and other individual factors. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Nerve blocks
  • Therapeutic Botox® injections
  • Deep brain stimulation

If you or someone you love suffers from dementia or another neurodegenerative condition, schedule a consultation with Memphis Neurology. Call the location nearest you or book an appointment online today.