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What is Corticobasal degeneration (CBD)?

This information comes from Alzheimer’s Society, a wonderful organization based out of the UK. They are one of my go-to sources for information and I highly recommend taking a look around their website. They offer the information on their website to be freely used by others, so I am posting the information in full. You can access the same article on their website as well as resources on dementia by clicking on the title, below.

What is Corticobasal degeneration?

Corticobasal degeneration is one of the rarer forms of dementia. Rarer forms account for only around 5 per cent of all dementia cases in the UK.

Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a rare disease in which parts of the brain become damaged and begin to shrink. The outer layer of the brain, known as the cortex, and deep parts of the brain, called the basal ganglia, are both affected. It is not yet known what causes CBD but producing too much of an abnormal form of a protein called tau is thought to play a role. The disease usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 80.

The first symptoms that people with CBD experience are problems with movement, such as stiffness and jerkiness in one or more of their limbs and a failure to control hand movement on one side (known as ‘alien hand syndrome’). As the disease progresses, these problems will often spread to other limbs. Many people experience symptoms of dementia, including problems with memory and thinking. A small proportion of people with frontotemporal dementia also develop CBD as an ‘overlapping’ condition. Other symptoms of CBD include loss of balance and co-ordination, and difficulties speaking and swallowing.

Currently, there is no cure or treatment available to slow the progression of CBD, but drugs may help some symptoms and physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy may be beneficial. On average, people live for around eight years after their symptoms first appear.

For further information and support contact the Frontotemporal Dementia Support Group (see ‘Other useful organisations’).

© Copyright 1998-2015 Alzheimer’s Society. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “What is Corticobasal degeneration (CBD)?

  1. Pingback: What are the rare forms of dementia? | Doctor Dementia and the Dementia Adventure

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