|Amino Acid / Protein|| Glutamine
| ||Raising glutathione levels (a potent antioxidant and detoxifier) will provide a protective effect.|
Cysteine / N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)
| || Both cysteine and NAC increase glutathione levels.|
| ||D-phenylalanine (DPA) may be helpful for some individuals with Parkinson’s disease. [Arzneimittelforsch 26: pp.577-9, 1976]|
Grape Seed Extract / Resveratrol
| ||Flavonoids, and in particular the proanthocyanidins (grape seed and pine bark extracts) should also be excellent candidates as Parkinson's disease preventers and retarders. Proanthocyanidins are water-soluble antioxidants that are stronger than vitamin C and which readily cross into the brain fluid. Clinical trials are, however, still required to support this hypothesis.|
Silymarin/Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Heavy Metal Detoxification / Avoidance
| ||Parkinson's disease is almost certainly caused by oxidative stress aggravated by metal toxicity. People who live in areas where the aluminum content of the drinking water is high have an excessive risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Recent research has linked high aluminum levels in drinking water to acid rain that leaches the aluminum out of the soil and transfers it to the ground water. Other metals are also implicated.|
Sugars Avoidance / Reduction
| ||People with a high intake of sugar (mono- and disaccharides) increase their risk of developing Parkinson's disease by a factor of three as compared to people with a more moderate intake.|
| ||Diets high in vitamin C and beta-carotene provide significant protection against Parkinson's disease. American researchers have concluded that a high intake of animal fats is associated with a five-fold increase risk.|
Animal/Saturated Fats Avoidance
| ||American researchers have concluded that a high intake of animal fats is associated with a five-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.|
Increased Fruit/Vegetable Consumption
| ||Fruit is a good source of antioxidants.|
Artificial Sweetener Avoidance
| ||Parkinson's disease can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame according to researchers studying its possible adverse effects.|
| ||A team of researchers examined the relationship between coffee intake and the incidence of Parkinson's disease among 8,004 Japanese-American men over a 30 year period. Of these men, 102 developed Parkinson's disease. The incidence of Parkinson's disease was found to be lower in those who drank coffee. In fact, the men who drank the most coffee were the least likely to get Parkinson's disease. Men who did not drink any coffee were five times more likely to exhibit symptoms of Parkinson's disease than men who drank more than 28 ounces of coffee each day. Caffeine from other sources such as green tea, black tea, chocolate and soda was also associated with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. |
Caffeine belongs to the xanthine chemical group. A naturally occurring xanthine in the brain called adenosine is used as a neurotransmitter at some synapses. When adenosine receptors are blocked, levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine increase. Caffeine may protect against Parkinson's disease by blocking adenosine receptors, thus increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain.
Although the new research is suggestive of a link between caffeine and Parkinson's disease, it is too early to say that caffeine will prevent Parkinson's disease. Perhaps the brains of people who like and dislike coffee are different, with differing rates of Parkinson’s. Also, the study included older, Japanese-American men. It is unknown if this caffeine/Parkinson disease relationship holds for other ethnic groups, women and younger people.
High/Increased Protein Diet
| ||The timing of protein intake can markedly increase the effectiveness of l-dopa and thereby lead to reduced dosage requirements. Researchers now recommend that protein intake be kept as low as possible and that protein be included primarily in the evening meal.|
Conventional Drugs / Information
| ||Conventional medical treatment relies heavily on l-dopa (levo-dihydroxy-phenylalanine), a dopamine precursor that can cross the blood-brain barrier and is converted to dopamine in the brain. L-dopa is now rarely used by itself, but rather in combination with carbidopa (Sinemet) or benserazide (Madopar) that protects it from breaking down before it reaches the brain tissue. As l-dopa must compete with other amino acids in crossing both from the gut to the blood stream and from the blood stream to the brain it is usually recommended that it be taken between meals rather than with meals.|
Although l-dopa medications can bring significant relief from Parkinson's disease symptoms they become less effective with time. After four or five years of increasing dosages their effect becomes sporadic and unpredictable (the "on-off syndrome") and patients become increasingly helpless and depressed. There is also evidence that the use of l-dopa medications may lead to a deficiency of B-vitamins, especially niacin and vitamin B-6. Most Parkinson's disease experts now recommend that l-dopa therapy be started as late as possible after diagnosis of Parkinson's disease so as to postpone the day when it no longer works and to limit its many serious adverse effects.
Selegiline (Deprenyl, Eldepryl) is another drug used in Parkinson's disease therapy. It works by blocking the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. Trials have shown that starting Parkinson's disease patients on selegiline can extend the time period before they need l-dopa by about nine months. Combinations of l-dopa medications and selegiline have also been tried in early stage Parkinson's disease patients, but were found to have no advantage. A study concluded that the combination therapy increased mortality by about 50% when compared to Parkinson's disease patients treated with l-dopa medications alone.
However, a subsequent study found that Eldepryl (Selegiline, Deprenyl) can slow Parkinson's Disease safely. In patients with early Parkinson's disease, selegiline and other drugs in a class called monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors are cheap and effective treatments that reduce disability and the need for levodopa, researchers reported in the British Medical Journal. Their study findings also show that the drugs are not associated with increased mortality, as had been reported in an earlier study. [British Medical Journal, August 14, 2004]
Anticholinergenic drugs work by reducing the amount of acetylcholine produced in the brain and thereby redressing the imbalance between dopamine and acetylcholine. They are no longer recommended for older patients as they have serious neuropsychiatric side-effects.
2009 (Ames, Iowa) - Anumantha Kanthasamy and W. Eugene and Linda R. Lloyd, researchers at Iowa State University, have reportedly found an essential key to possibly cure Parkinson's disease.
Kanthasamy discovered that the protein kinase-C (specifically PKCd) is killing the dopamine-producing cells which Parkinson's sufferers lack and he, and his research staff, discovered a compound that neutralizes the cell-killing kinase-C and allows the dopamine-producing cells to survive and function.
As reported in an Iowa State University publication, Kanthasamy's group is now looking for additional compounds that also can serve to neutralize protein kinase-C. By identifying more compounds that perform the function of neutralizing kinase-C, notes the report, researchers are more likely to locate one that works well and has few side effects.
According to the report, the discovery is expected to provide new treatment options to stop the progression of the disease or even cure it.
LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone
| ||According to Dr. Bihari, LDN clearly halts progression in multiple sclerosis. As such its use has been more recently extended to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) whose etiology remains unknown but for which there is suggestive evidence of a possible autoimmune mechanism.|
| ||Naproxen and other NSAIDs may exacerbate Parkinson's disease.|
| ||Occupational exposure to pesticides and herbicides has also been linked to a significantly higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.|
| ||C.A. Hackethal, M.D. has reported excellent success in treating Parkinson's Disease by use of replacement therapy of DHEA. Apparently the bad side-effects of L-Dopa are avoided, and the Parkinsonian victim is restored to appropriate functioning. Until further confirmation, one should not expect miraculous results based upon this one reference.|
| ||Avoiding overexposure to some metals, especially iron, can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.|
| ||Research has raised the possibility that people with Parkinson's might have problems with structures called mitochondria, a spherical or elongated organelle in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. The researchers who performed this study found that Parkinson's patients have reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 in their mitochondria. This led the researchers to investigate whether the antioxidant would be useful in treating the disease.|
The study involved 80 people who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's but had not yet received treatment. The participants were randomly assigned to take a daily dose of 300mg, 600mg or 1,200mg of coenzyme Q10 or an inactive pill called a placebo. Patients were evaluated at the start of the study and after one, four, eight, 12 and 16 months.
The progression of Parkinson's disease was significantly slower in people taking the highest dose of coenzyme Q10. These patients experienced a slower decline in all areas measured by the researchers, including mental and motor skills, but the greatest effect was in the activities of daily living. Compared to placebo, the lower doses of the drug also seemed to slow Parkinson's, but the differences were not statistically significant. [Archives of Neurology Oct 2002; 59: pp.1523,1541-1550] No currently used drugs slow the progression of Parkinson's, but act by controlling the symptoms. This places CoQ10 in a unique position, as it appears to slow progression.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
TMG (Tri-methyl-glycine) / SAMe
| ||The compound 5-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), potentially produced through the demethylation of TMG, has been shown to improve Parkinson's disease.|
| ||Stress aggravates Parkinson's disease and relaxation therapy has been found useful in the treatment of the disease. A well thought-out program of rest, exercise and physiotherapy can also significantly ameliorate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.|
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
| ||In a Russian trial, 60 patients with Parkinsonism of various causes with pronounced tremor were effectively treated with intramuscular doses of vitamin B6. Single doses were as high as 400mg; the total doses were from 3000 to 6000mg. Changes in laboratory findings (EMG, tremorographic and myotonometric) correlated with the clinical picture. Vitamin B6 is recommended irrespective of the cause of the disease and of the patient's age, and can be given either alone or in combination with anti-Parkinsonian drugs aside from DOPA. High doses of B6 are not recommended, however, for patients with angina or coronary insufficiency. [Sov Med (7): 14- 9, 1979 (in Russian)]|
| ||High dietary intake of vitamin E (from food only) was associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease in a study of over 124.000 men and women who were followed for at least 12 years. Vitamin E or vitamin C supplements were NOT associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's. [Neurology 2002;59(8): pp.1161-9]|
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
| ||Supplementation with vitamin C and E markedly slows the progression of the disease in its early stages.|
Parkinson's disease patients given large doses of oral vitamin C and synthetic vitamin E supplements (3000mg and 3200 IU daily respectively) delayed the progression of their disease to the point where they needed l-dopa 2.5 years later than a group of patients who were not taking supplements. Later research has shown that synthetic vitamin E in itself does not retard the progression of Parkinson's disease. Thus it is likely that it was vitamin C by itself or its combination with vitamin E that was the active component in Dr. Fahn's experiment. This fits with a later finding that vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier nor does it accumulate in the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain. Vitamin C, on the other hand, while not crossing the blood-brain barrier does enter the cerebrospinal fluid and can be found there in concentrations proportional to dietary intake. Inasmuch as vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant and is particularly adept in quenching hydroxyl radicals (the main culprits in the dopamine-cell destruction), it is becoming increasingly clear that this vitamin may be an excellent protector against Parkinson's disease and can materially help in slowing down the progression of the disease.
| ||Niacinamide (nicotinamide) enhances mitochondrial energy production and may help protect mitochondria from damage by toxic substances. A product derived from nicotinamide, called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), is essential for cell development and energy production. |
Animal studies suggest that the protective effects from an oral nicotinamide supplement are greatest when given early in the course of Parkinson’s disease, before dopamine is severely depleted. The benefits of NADH in Parkinson’s disease may result from its ability to reduce inflammation within the brain and from its effect on the immune system.
| ||Vitamin A works with other antioxidants to provide a protective effect.|
Vitamin B Complex
| ||Supplementation with vitamin B-complex may be necessary, especially for patients who take l-dopa medications.|| |
Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter widely distributed in body tissues with a primary function of mediating synaptic activity of the nervous system and skeletal muscles.
Allergic Rhinitis: Also known as hay fever, this is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes that is caused by specific allergen(s). It is an allergy characterized by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing and a burning/scratchy sensation of the palate and throat.
Allergy: Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.
Alzheimer's Disease: A progressive disease of the middle-aged and elderly, characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.
Antioxidant: A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.
Asthma: A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.
Cardiovascular: Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
Cholesterol: A waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues, it facilitates the transport and absorption of fatty acids. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
Copper: An essential mineral that is a component of several important enzymes in the body and is essential to good health. Copper is found in all body tissues. Copper deficiency leads to a variety of abnormalities, including anemia, skeletal defects, degeneration of the nervous system, reproductive failure, pronounced cardiovascular lesions, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired immunity and defects in the pigmentation and structure of hair. Copper is involved in iron incorporation into hemoglobin. It is also involved with vitamin C in the formation of collagen and the proper functioning in central nervous system. More than a dozen enzymes have been found to contain copper. The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.
Dementia: An acquired progressive impairment of intellectual function. Marked compromise exists in at least three of the following mental activity spheres: memory, language, personality, visuospatial skills, and cognition (i.e., abstraction and calculation).
Diuretic: An agent increasing urine flow, causing the kidneys to excrete more than the usual amount of sodium, potassium and water.
Dopamine: A neurohormone; precursor to norepinephrine which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system.
Epidemic: Describes a disease occurring in extensive outbreaks, or with an unusually high incidence at certain times and places.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Free Radical: A free radical is an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron. Because another element can easily pick up this free electron and cause a chemical reaction, these free radicals can effect dramatic and destructive changes in the body. Free radicals are activated in heated and rancid oils and by radiation in the atmosphere, among other things.
Glutathione: A natural sulfur-bearing peptide formed from the linking of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. Glutathione acts as an antioxidant and detoxicant and is involved with the selenium-containing enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione is also involved in amino acid transport across cell membranes.
Gram: (gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.
Hormones: Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
Iron: An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.
Low-Density Lipoprotein: (LDL): Also known as "bad" cholesterol, LDLs are large, dense, protein-fat particles composed of a moderate proportion of protein and a high proportion of cholesterol. Higher levels of LDLs are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
Manganese: An essential mineral found in trace amounts in tissues of the body. Adults normally contain an average of 10 to 20mg of manganese in their bodies, most of which is contained in bone, the liver and the kidneys. Manganese is essential to several critical enzymes necessary for energy production, bone and blood formation, nerve function and protein metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and glucose, the production of cholesterol and it allows the body to use thiamine and Vitamin E. It is also involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acid, biogenic amine metabolism, which involves the transmitting of nerve impulses.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Nervous System: A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.
Neurotoxic: Poisonous to the nerves.
NSAID: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Parkinson's Disease: A chronic, slowly-progressing disease of the nervous system characterized clinically by the combination of tremor, rigidity, extreme slowness of movement, and stooped posture. It is characterized pathologically by loss of dopamine in the substantia nigra.
Pernicious Anemia: Anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Proanthocyanidin: Also called procyanidin, it is a powerful antioxidant that chemically belongs to the class of bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol from grape seed and pine bark extracts is an example. Berries, such as hawthorn berries, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries and, to a lesser extent, red wine, are natural sources.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).
Stroke: A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel that supplies the brain, characterized by loss of muscular control, complete or partial loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of the damage to the brain. The most common manifestation is some degree of paralysis, but small strokes may occur without symptoms. Usually caused by arteriosclerosis, it often results in brain damage.