Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system resulting from depletion of dopamine producing cells. A variety of genetic and environmental factors underly the loss of these brain cells. However, emergent research implicates oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and toxins the major causes of Parkinson’s disease.
According to experiments done at John Hopkins medicine researchers say they have found additional evidence that Parkinson’s disease originates among cells in the gut and travels up the body’s neurons to the brain. This was discussed in the journal Neuron which offers an accurate model in which to test treatments that could prevent or hold Parkinson’s disease progression. The got brain connection is now being discussed as initiating misfolded proteins traveling up the vagus nerve into the brain.
Symptoms may include a slight tremor in the hand which increases over time. However, roughly 30% of patients do not develop a tremor. They may often develop muscle rigidity or cramping that can become quite painful. Progression leads to slowness of movements. “Freezing” is a frequent reported motor symptom and advanced Parkinson’s this involves the sudden onset of the inability to move at all. Patients described freezing as feeling as if their feet are stuck to the floor.
Patients also developed many nonmotor symptoms such as incontinence, constipation, difficulty swallowing, inability to control saliva, dizziness, sleepiness, depression anxiety and hallucinations. Unfortunately, there may be a related cognitive decline. This a major concern among those with advanced Parkinson disease up to 75-80% of those with Parkinson developed dementia and near the end of their life.
An integrative approach linked to new research
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease in the new neuro research. Mitochondrial dysfunction results in impaired energy production, loss of cellular repair mechanisms and cellular and efficiency. As they become dysfunctional, they generate large number of free radicals which contribute to the oxidative stress which can then use into further mitochondrial dysfunction and eventually leads to cell death. This vicious cycle needs to be halted.
Damaged mitochondrial are continually being cleared from within the cell through a process called autophagy. Its cellular recycling that clears out the damage mitochondrial before they can accumulate and cause dysfunction. The problem is that as we age mutations in the mitochondrial DNA because this to become less efficient. The good news is we can stimulate autophagy.
Inflammation also perpetuates Parkinson’s disease. The brain contains immune cells called microglia that are activated in Parkinson disease, and they release inflammatory cytokines and cause the neurons to die. One of these inflammatory cytokines is called tumor necrosis factor alpha. We now have some substances that prevent inflammation are useful in Parkinson’s patients. One of the cholesterol pills were shown in a study with over 700,000 subjects to be associated with a 49% reduction in the likelihood of the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms as well as a 54% reduction in the risk of dementia, suggesting a substantial neuroprotective effect
Infections may also cause Parkinson’s disease. Encephalitis caused by influenza has included parkinsonian features. Other infections showing in association include hepatitis C virus, Helicobacter pylori virus and others. The emerging role of the microbiology and the gut brain connection appears to be exceedingly important and needs to be evaluated and treated. These infections can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause microglia activation with inflammation and ultimately death of the neuronal cell.
In an integrative approach I restore mitochondrial integrity and resuscitate their function. After an evaluation of nutrient levels, infections such as Lyme disease and viral infections, toxins, autoimmune disease, heavy metals, and mycotoxin I formulate a personalized program for each patient.
If you would like more information on Parkinson’s disease we can help. Please call us at 480-361-7020