Neurodegenerative Diseases Specialist

Shankle Clinic

Neurology Specialists located in Newport Beach, CA

Neurodegenerative diseases affect the nerves in your brain and spinal cord, damaging irreplaceable neurons and causing a range of debilitating symptoms. If you have the symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease, William Shankle, MS, MD, FACP, and his team at Shankle Clinic provide a diagnosis and recommend treatment to minimize symptoms and slow disease progression. Located within the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California, Shankle Clinic is a community-based clinic that focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD). To set up an appointment, contact the helpful staff by phone or online form.

Neurodegenerative Diseases Q & A

What are neurodegenerative diseases?

Neurodegenerative diseases are those that affect the neurons in your brain and spinal cord. Because most neurons can’t regenerate or replace themselves, if they’re damaged or die, you may have trouble with moving (ataxia) or thinking (dementia). 

Some common neurodegenerative diseases include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Prion disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease)

Neurodegenerative diseases are progressive, and most of them can’t be cured. However, some conditions that mimic the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases can be reversed with proper therapy.

Who develops neurodegenerative diseases?

Although anyone can develop a neurodegenerative disease, your risk of developing one increases dramatically as you age. The blessing of living longer comes with the downside of a greater likelihood of developing one of the diseases.

What are the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases?

Your symptoms vary depending on which disease you have. Common symptoms include:

  • Cognitive difficulties (remembering, concentrating)
  • Mood changes (depression, anxiety, apathy)
  • Changes in sensation or function (tingling, weakness, balance problems)

You may also have times where your symptoms disappear or change.

How do I prevent neurodegenerative diseases?

Genetics and environment play a part in neurodegenerative diseases. However, research has shown that adopting a healthy lifestyle may help prevent disease or delay its progression once it manifests. Some recommendations include:

  • Intense aerobic exercise (such as walking uphill)
  • Resolving vitamin deficiencies
  • Eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking
  • Treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
  • Losing weight

If you have the symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease, don’t count on lifestyle adjustments alone. Get an evaluation and diagnosis at Shankle Clinic so that your neurologist can tailor a treatment plan for you, which may include lifestyle changes as well as medications.

How do doctors diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases?

Your neurologist performs a complete physical exam and orders blood tests and imaging studies to determine the cause of your symptoms. They design your treatment plan based on your diagnosis. Treatment may include lifestyle changes and medications. 

Don’t delay getting an evaluation and diagnosis if you have the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease. Contact Shankle Clinic today by using the online form or by phoning the friendly and knowledgeable staff.