Important Points About The New Medications
With multiple new medications available for the treatment of PD, there is more hope than ever that Parkinsons symptoms can be successfully managed for many years. A few things to consider:
- For people whose symptoms are difficult to control, these new treatments are welcome additions to what was previously available and many people with PD have been using these new medications with significant benefit.
- On the other hand, many of the newly-approved medications have the same mechanisms of action as older medications so they are not breaking new ground in treating symptoms.
- In addition, for some people, the effect on symptoms may be mild or not substantial.
These caveats may mean that your physician has not suggested a medication change for you. It is also important to note that despite all the new medications, carbidopa/levodopa remains the most potent medication to treat the motor symptoms of PD.
If your doctor does choose to try one of the new options, there may be multiple paths that your doctor can take when contemplating a medication adjustment. Often trial and error is the only way to determine the best medication regimen for you, so you may need to practice some patience as you work together with your doctor to determine what works or doesnt work.
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Revamped Ldn Site Launched
LDNscience.org helps patients with autoimmune diseases and other serious conditions
MedInsight Research Institute
The MedInsight Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating patients and physicians about non-commercially sponsored treatments for chronic and serious medical conditions, has launched a revamped LDN information website at LDNscience.org.
LDN, an acronym for low dose naltrexone, is the biggest patient-initiated drug discovery program in history. LDN involves using an FDA-approved opiate addiction treatment drug, naltrexone, at a very low dose to induce significant medical benefits among patients suffering from autoimmune diseases and other chronic medical conditions. A series of clinical trials has shown LDN to be useful for the treatment of Crohns disease, multiple sclerosis , fibromyalgia, HIV, Parkinsons and chronic pain. These studies have been carried out at major academic institutions including Penn State University, Stanford University, the University of California San Francisco, and SUNY Buffalo, among others.
After MedInsight initiated the first-ever clinical trial of LDN in patients with Crohns disease, 13 additional clinical trials and 19 case reports about LDN have been published in medical literature to date.
About LDNscience: LDNscience® is a public information project of the MedInsight Research Institute
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What Causes Parkinsons Disease
If nerve cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra become damaged or die, less dopamine is produced. Dopamine is a brain chemical that allows brain cells to communicate. Lower dopamine levels cause abnormal brain activity, which can cause issues with movement.
PD also results in the loss of another brain chemical called norepinephrine, which is needed for the functioning of digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
Genetics cause about 10% to 15%of all Parkinsons, says the Parkinsons Foundation. But environmental and lifestyle factors play a role, too, including a head injury, area of residence, and exposure to certain toxic chemicals. But the exact cause of PD is unknown.
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The Latest Parkinsons Research And What To Look For
Steve Wright: Thats just another reason why I want to keep pooping on a daily basis. I did not know that connection.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, one of many reasons. This show, we can almost sound like a broken record sometimes, because just about any condition that we talk about at this point has a strong correlation to gut health, you know, the gut microbiota, the intestinal barrier, and SIBO. And really, thats good news. Because from a functional medicine perspective, were alwaysyou know, a patient might walk through my door. Lets say two different patients. They might have very different symptoms. But as a functional medicine practitioner, I know that I need to be really looking at the same basic systems for most patients. Like, Im looking at the gut, Im looking at the HPA axis, Im looking at oxygen deliverability and blood sugar regulation, Im looking at methylation. These are all the underlying mechanisms that tend to be at the root of most modern disease, regardless of whether were talking about diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity or neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinsons and Alzheimers. So it actually really simplifies things in a way, if youre approaching things from a functional medicine perspective.
How Does Low Dose Naltrexone Work
LDN Therapy has several mechanisms of action which work together to produce benefits for patients. Most experts are seeing significant improvement in over 80% of treated patients.
New Medications For Off Time
A number of new medications approved recently are designed to reduce OFF time. These medications fall into two major categories:
- Medications that lengthen the effect of a carbidopa/levodopa dose
- Medications that are used as needed if medication effects wear off
Well give specific examples below. In general, new medications that extend the length of a carbidopa/levodopa dose are used if OFF time is somewhat predictable and occurs prior to next dose. New medications that are used as needed are most beneficial when OFF time is not predictable.
New medications that lengthen the effect of a dose of carbidopa/levodopa
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist which was approved in the US in 2019 as an add-on therapy to levodopa for treatment of OFF time in PD. Unlike many of the other medications, it has a novel mechanism of action and is the first medication in its class to be approved for PD. It acts on the adenosine receptor, which modulates the dopaminergic system, but is not directly dopaminergic. The drug was developed in Japan and underwent clinical trials both in Japan and in the US.
- Opicapone is a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor that is taken once a day. It was approved in the US in 2020 as an add-on therapy to levodopa for motor fluctuations.
New formulations of levodopa designed to be used as needed if medication effects wear off
Other medications used as needed if medication effects wear off
The Disease Doesnt Stand A Chance
Because this is an illness that can be tackled on so many fronts doing what I did meant my overall health actually got better over time.
The three steps I described provide health benefits that overwhelm the downside of the disease.
You deteriorate 1 part because of the illness but improve 3 parts because of these new, powerful daily habits.
More than anything, what I learned is that Parkinsons is not the terrifying, life-destroying diagnosis that so many of us believe it to be.
I was able to choose what this illness did to me. And I chose for it to do nothing to me.
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What Dosage Is Low
For use in treating fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, naltrexone is generally given in doses of 4.5 mg or less. Typically, you’ll start at 1.5 mg, work up to 3 mg, then increase to 4.5 mg.
Keep in mind that higher doses of naltrexone have not been shown to have the same symptom-reducing effects for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Is Low Dose Naltrexone Safe
LDN is very safe to use in most populations, including breastfeeding women and children. It also has a low side effect profile. One of the most common side effects is having vivid dreams. Not necessarily nightmares, just really vivid dreams. A couple of the other side effects I have heard of happening are nausea and increased anxiety. I have not personally experienced this with my patients but this is something to look out for and bring to the attention of the prescribing provider if you experience nausea or anxiety as a side effect.
LDN is not a magic miracle worker pill, although it does seem that way based on the way that it positively affects peoples lives. As a functional medicine provider, it is just one more tool in my fairly large toolbox of things to use to help people to get back on track to meet their health goals. I use it for a lot of different conditions including balancing hormones.
If you want to discuss if low dose naltrexone might be a good option for you, with Julian Healthcare. We would love to talk it over with you!
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We Have Choices About How This Condition Plays Out
In fact, medical scientists have proved that many people with a genetic disposition to this never get it.
While others with no genetic disposition at all still get full-on Parkinsons that ravages their mental health quickly and remorselessly.
Its not genetics. Its a basic illness with recognized causes.
Remember: the substantia nigra produces dopamine. Its the loss of substantia nigra nerve cells that leads to the loss of dopamine.
And that loss of dopamine leads to Parkinsons Disease.
So the big question is:
Why on earth is the substantia nigra losing those dopamine-producing cells in the first place?
I was shocked to discover that we already know why were losing those priceless, life-giving substantia nigra cells.
Yet still do almost nothing about it
This Simple Remedy Changed My Life
Simple lifestyle improvements transformed my entire life. Its done exactly the same for thousands of other very ordinary people who thought theyd suffer their illness for life.
It requires a small initial effort. Not much. But a little more than unscrewing the lid on a jar of chemicals.
For the millions who see drugs as their only hope there are thousands like me who know for an absolute fact that theyre not.
Which is why we dont suffer those nasty symptoms anymore while they still do.
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Parkinsons Disease Treatment With Ldn
More than 20% people with Parkinsons disease and their families come across a common and largely unrecognized challenge the prevalence of impulse control disorders , such as sexual behavior, compulsive gambling, spending, and eating. The presence of PD in such patients can complicate or limit treatment options.
A pilot study was conducted by a team of investigators from the Parkinsons Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The team found that naltrexone, an opioid antagonist could be effective in reducing the ICD symptoms common with PD patients. The results of the pilot study were published in the Neurology journal.
These issues are believed to arise as a result of drugs used for treating the disease. However, it could be because of the disease itself. ICDs can create numerous employment related, financial, personal, and social problems. They can burden caregivers and patients who are already devastated because of Parkinsons.
American Integrative Pharmacy , led by Dr. Neema Yazdanpanah, provides safe and proven compounding medications to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and online nationwide.
Low Dose Naltrexone And Parkinsons Disease
Many people are on the hunt for a sure fire therapy that will eliminate all symptoms. I have certainly never identified such a solution and doubt any will ever be found. There are dozens of therapies that do facilitate a reversal of symptoms however. I include low dose naltrexone as one of these therapies though it is a prescription medication that does have side effects.
Low dose naltrexone is certainly not a quick fix so to speak. Why? It can take several years for the body to strengthen the immune system. Once the immune system is back on line, the body is in a position to address the imbalances that may be causing the symptoms. Of course there are other approaches for building up the immune system. Some people have had remarkable results using LDN which does require a doctor s prescription.
The DVD of Lexie who discuseses LDN as a treatment for Parkinsons given at the 2013 Parkinsons Recovery Summit in Santa Fe can be ordered from the Summit website: www.summit.parkinsonsrecovery.com
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
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Studies Present An Encouraging First Step
The pilot study, according to Weintraub, is a promising first step in identifying ICD treatments for patients with PD. It potentially improves their quality of life. The study results show that patients need to clearly think about the primary outcome measures. The study is an encouraging first step.
More studies can now be conducted on the performance of opioid antagonists, such as naltrexone on relieving the behavioral pattern of ICD. Larger and more clinical trials can also be conducted now because of the early promising results of the pilot study.
AIP provides advanced compounding pharmacy solutions, including online prescription refills to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and online nationwide.
The Benefits Of Low Dose Naltrexone
What you should know about LDN:
- Low Dose Naltrexone works with endorphin and immune systems to reduce overall oxidative stress
- LDN relates to doses of 10mg per day or less
- LDN is shown to reduce chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, obesity, fatigue, and chronic pain
- LDN is a safe and effective treatment for over 40 years
My Experience with LDN
I first learned about Low Dose Naltrexone when I attended an integrative medicine conference as a medical student. I was naturally intrigued when I heard about the effects LDN has on autoimmunity and chronic inflammation. Individuals diagnosed with a disease falling under these two broad conditions often do not receive much relief from conventional therapiesand the conventional therapies typically come with detrimental side effects.
After much research and investigation, I decided that Low Dose Naltrexone was something that would highly benefit a large number of individuals who were seeking answers to their health issues. During my residency training, I was able to convince one of my supervising physicians to allow me to try LDN on a patientand there began my obsession with it.
LDN and Lyme Disease
Others who tend to fall into this category are those experiencing chronic migraines, and patients who are sensitive to multiple medications or foods. More recently, I have seen an uptick in MCAS consultations these patients also tend to require a lower initial dose and slower titration schedule.
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If You Are Living With Irritable Bowel Syndrome Multiple Sclerosis Parkinsons Disease Psoriasis Or Eczema This Medication May Be Of Help
Naltrexone is an FDA approved medication originally used for reversing opiate overdoses and treating alcohol dependence. However, at much lower doses, it can relieve many other conditions. LDN initially binds to opiate receptors. Over time it upregulates them, increasing opiate production which helps to decrease pain, improve anxiety and depression, and even create a sense of euphoria. As an immune modulator, LDN decreases cytokines or inflammatory chemicals and helps to improve inflammatory bowel disorders , especially Crohns disease, and neurodegenerative conditions, like MS, Parkinsons disease, and cognitive impairment. LDN also improves autoimmune conditions such as Hashimotos thyroiditis and some forms of diabetes by decreasing antibody levels. LDN can also improve allergic and dermatologic symptoms such as psoriasis and eczema. Finally, due to its ability to inhibit tumor growth, it may be helpful for various types of cancer. The earlier LDN is begun in the course of an illness, the more likely it will be helpful. Optimal benefits may not be seen till on the medication for at least 6 months, if not a full year. It is a very affordable medication, readily available. LDN is typically taken at night, but it can adversely affect sleep. Some patients find that taking it in the morning is as effective as the evening dose.
To Slow Or Stop Disease Progression
The researchers found that the BMP5/7 protein hada significant protective effect against the misfolded alpha-synuclein proteins.
According to senior study author Dr. Claude Brodski, of the Israel-based Ben-Gurion University of the Negevs Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, We found that BMP5/7 treatment can, in a Parkinsons disease mouse model, efficiently prevent movement impairments caused by the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and reverse the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. He continues:
These findings are very promising, since they suggest that BMP5/7 could slow or stop Parkinsons disease progression. Currently, we are focusing all our efforts on bringing our discovery closer to clinical application.
The universitys technology transfer company, BGN Technologies, is currently looking to bring the development to the market.
Dr. Galit Mazooz-Perlmuter, the companys senior vice president of bio-pharma business development, notes that There is a vast need for new therapies to treat Parkinsons disease, especially in advanced stages of the disease.
Dr. Brodskis findings, although still in their early stages, offer a disease-modified drug target that will address this devastating condition. We are now seeking an industry partner for further development of this patent-pending invention.
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