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Altered pathophysiology in common neurological conditions

23 November 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 21


This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology of several neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke and migraine. For each condition, the article highlights key changes that occur in the brain and how these changes contribute to the development and progression of the condition.

Neurological conditions are diseases that affect the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves (Peate, 2021). These conditions can have a profound impact on a person's daily life, causing a range of symptoms from memory loss to difficulty moving. Although the pathophysiology of each condition is unique, many share some commonalities.

Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide (Breijyeh and Karaman, 2020), making it the most common cause of dementia among older adults. The pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is complex and not yet fully understood, but research has identified key changes in the brain that occur in individuals with the disease.

One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles in the brain. Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment that is derived from the amyloid precursor protein. It aggregates to form plaques between neurons, causing disruption in the communication pathways between them. Tau protein is involved in maintaining the structural integrity of the neurons, but in Alzheimer's disease, it forms tangles within the neurons, causing them to collapse. These abnormal protein deposits interfere with the normal functioning of neurons, leading to cell death and brain atrophy (Huang and Mucke, 2012).

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