Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)


This brain disorder affects cells in the brain's frontal and temporal lobes. It causes brain cells to die, and the lobes to shrink. This affects your memory, thinking and behavior. And, this disorder gets worse over time.


What causes it? Well, we don't know the exact cause. It's linked to an abnormal buildup of protein in brain cells. The protein, called "tau," forms clumps that kill cells. Genetics may play a role for some people. But you can develop this disorder with no family history. More research is needed to understand the factors that lead to this disorder.


What are the symptoms? Often, symptoms begin with movement problems on one side of your body. You can have jerking, twitching and stiffness. Parts of your body may contort into abnormal postures. Over time, these problems may spread to both sides. You may have trouble with fine motor skills. This can make it hard for you to use utensils and to fasten buttons. You can have problems with balance and coordination. You may have trouble swallowing and speaking. And you may have problems with thinking, memory and language. Ask your doctor for a full list of symptoms.


How do we treat it? There is no cure for corticobasal degeneration, and we can't slow its progression. But we can help manage the symptoms. You may benefit from physical and occupational therapy. Medication may help, too. A doctor will create a plan that's right for you.