Degenerative Diseases - Health Article

Degenerative Diseases

The term degenerative disease is not clear. Usually, there is meant by which diseases are associated with a progressively less of one or more body functions. Usually, but not always, is called degenerative diseases, when the cause is not known exactly; though there is often talk of a genetic vulnerability. Although there are degenerative diseases which are bets on the child's age, it will usually affect older people. The term is most commonly used for disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.

 there is meant by which diseases are associated with a progressively less of one or more  Degenerative Diseases

Reserve and regeneration

The body has for most functions spare. A healthy person can be a piece of intestine, a kidney, the half of his liver and that he gets more miss without complaints. The body also has a considerable capacity for regeneration. Abrasions and surgical wounds, fractures usually heal quickly, when the wound edges or the bones not too far apart. A degenerative disease will show symptoms only when the damage faster than the repair capacity and the reserve is exhausted. The capacity for regeneration is not unlimited. The older man is, the less the tissue can recover as it was.


Disease is set at the level of the cell. Cells can die in two ways:
  • Necrosis: for example, when an infection or lack of oxygen
  • Apoptosis or autolysis: this put the cell in response to a stimulus in train a chain reaction making them dies.
When more cells die by apoptosis than there can be formed and the reserve has been used up, the function will start shooting deficit. A sick cell shows abnormalities that are called by pathologists also degeneration. Everything plays a role in many diseases degeneration; the principle of the progressive lung damage (COPD) by smoking or the liver cirrhosis by abundant alcohol use does not differ greatly from this, but it is rarely called degeneration. In practice, called those diseases degenerative, whose cause is not know exactly.


In practice, it is meant with a degenerative disease of the musculoskeletal system or of the central nervous system. Cartilage and nerve tissue both have a limited capacity to recover.

Musculoskeletal disorders
These disorders are often marked with the somewhat confusing word rheumatic. Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are inflammations in joints (arthritis), which are characterized by chronic pain. Upon physical examination and blood tests are symptoms of inflammation set. Inflammatory diseases can lead to physical limitations and disability, but the last ten years, the results of the treatment much better.

The counterpart of inflammatory diseases (inflammation) are the so-called degenerative disorders. Patients with degenerative diseases have less pain at rest, and is found in research in general, no inflammatory activity. Degenerative diseases are common. The degenerative rheumatic diseases can be divided in:
  • Osteoarthritis, progressive damage to the joints, in particular hip, knee, fingers (thumb!) And spine.
Osteoarthritis often begins with damage to the smooth articular cartilage; later cysts arise in the bone below it, changes in the joint capsule and protrusions of the bone. This is accompanied by an inflammatory, but which is not in the foreground.
  • Discopatie, wear of the intervertebral disc, the cartilage cushions between the vertebrae in, which can lead to a hernia.
  • Spondylosis, wear of the vertebrae and the intervertebral disc
  • Osteoporosis, osteoporosis especially in the elderly; causes include hormonal, lack of exercise, vitamin D deficiency, certain medications, diabetes. The main results can be broken bones in the wrist, hip and / or spine.

Neurodegenerative diseases
Among the neuro-degenerative diseases is generally understood a number of disorders which
  • slowly (many years) progressive expired
  • occur in people who have a genetic vulnerability
  • often it is seen that several of these disorders occur in one family
  • Alzheimer's disease: As a short-fouling and again making certain long protein molecules to the wall of the nerve cell to each other do not keep in balance, there arise "clusters" and "plaques" with a neuronal cell death as a result.
  • Parkinson's Disease: Beginning with the substantia nigra occurs on apoptosis in dopamine-producing neurons. Typically, the stacking of alfasynucle├»ne and the formation of Lewy bodies. When less than 20% of the cells is over, complaints arise as a consequence of dopamine deficiency.
  • Spinal, Spinocerebellaire-, cerebellar degeneration, ALS and more.

Degenerative eye disease

Some progressive retinal disorders occur at all childhood dystrophy cones or rods; others, such as the so-called macular degeneration, especially above 60.

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