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Atrophy is the reduction of the possibility of using a part of the body or wasting a tissue or a body part. Atrophy may be also defined as a progressive decline of a tissue, organ or part of the body. There are many types of atrophy because of the different affected parts of the body or tissues. Atrophy may have different causes: vitamin and mineral deficiency or simple poor diet; loss of hormonal support or poor circulation. The lack of activity and exercise may also lead to some forms of atrophy, especially when other diseases or health problems are involved.

Brain atrophy is also known as the cerebral atrophy and it characterizes the elder people, as the brain mass becomes smaller in time. Brain atrophy may occur in the case of other diseases, as it may be the Alzheimer’s disease. There are also some connections between the multiple sclerosis and the cerebral atrophy. The essence of the brain atrophy is the wasting away mass or tissues and brain cells. Stroke and malnutrition are the most common causes of the brain atrophy. Some hormonal changes may also contribute to the cerebral atrophy. The symptoms of this type of atrophy include: dementia, muscle weakness, speech and vision impairment.

Muscle atrophy is characterized by the loss of power and strength of the muscle and even of the bones and it may be caused by inactivity or long periods of bed rest. The most common cases of muscle atrophy are caused by sedentary lifestyle, sedentary jobs and no activities. The society is characterized by these sedentary types of working and spending the week-ends or the hobbies. If replacing the hobby of eating carbs in front of the TV with a sport or a simple walk in the park, more cases of muscle atrophy may be easily avoided and prevented. Many types of muscle atrophy are reversible due to the serious therapies. If the muscle atrophy was not installed after long periods of inactivity, exercising and special therapies may help in restoring the well functioning of the muscles again.

The muscle atrophy of more severe types may be caused by other health problems or diseases. AIDS presents serious muscle atrophy, called cachexia. Liver disease and some heart diseases may also cause the muscle atrophy. There is another type of muscle atrophy specific for the elder people, characterized by a progressive decline of the abilities of the muscle mass and skeletal muscle. This type of muscle atrophy is known as sarcopenia. In these cases, the recovery of the muscle function and mass is very difficult to achieve, especially if the physical condition of the patients don’t permit exercising and other therapies to be performed.

Breast atrophy is another type of atrophy that appears after long periods of the hormonal changes, especially in the case of estrogen reduction. Menopause is the most frequent cause of the breast atrophy, but in some cases the cause may be anorexia nervosa. The breast atrophy is characterized by the loss of glandular tissue and the decrease of both form and weight. Breast atrophy in a mild form may appear after pregnancy and breastfeeding, especially in the cases of many children. However, the breast atrophy comes with the age and it may be stopped only by surgery.

Vaginal atrophy is another characteristic of the menopause period and it is characterized by the thin walls of the vagina. It is considered that this type of atrophy is related with the decreased estrogen level, but more researches and studies may show the connection between the two. Vaginal atrophy appears at the same moment as the breast atrophy.

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