Medications For Parkinson’s Disease
After youve received a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on the diseases progression at the time you were diagnosed. Current pharmaceutical treatments include:
- Levodopa is a primary treatment for movement, tremors, and stiffness. Levodopa helps nerve cells make dopamine. This medication is also taken with carbidopa so that levodopa can reach the brain and stop or reduce side effects from the drug, such as vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure.
- Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine in the brain but are not as effective as levodopa in controlling symptoms like muscle movement and rigidity.
- Catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. They are taken with levodopa and slow the bodys ability to get rid of levodopa.
- MAO B inhibitors block monoamine oxidase B , a brain enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This allows dopamine to have longer-lasting effects.
- Anticholinergics aid in reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.
- Amantadine was first developed as an antiviral agent and can reduce involuntary movements caused by levodopa.
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. It is used for people taking carbidopa and levodopa but who experience off symptoms.
These drugs can have a variety of side effects. Be sure to discuss your medications with your doctor so you understand how and when to take them, what side effects may occur, and when to report any concerning side effects.
Parkinson’s Disease Supplements And Drugs
In this post I will share the various vitamins, minerals, supplements, and drugs that I take for Parkinson’s Disease. I started taking supplements on a regular basis several decades ago for overall health reasons. I learned with my diagnosis that certain changes might be beneficial. I will share a little bit about why I think supplements are so important, even with a healthy diet, and then break down the specifics. Let’s get started!
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a disease of the nervous system that interferes with the brains control of body movement. An area of the brain that controls muscle movements deteriorates, decreasing the production of dopamine, a brain chemical also called a neurotransmitter. This makes it difficult for people with PD to control movement. James Parkinson first described this disease in England in 1817.
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Supplements For Managing Parkinsons Symptoms
Principles Of Supplementation In Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is not a condition you should manage yourself at home. You must take the help of a medical practitioner and seek appropriate treatment.
Supplementation falls under complementary and alternative therapies, which means that it is to be used along with or after trying medical treatment. Consult with your doctor before using any supplement regimen.
Supplementation in Parkinsons disease relies on 4 pillars:
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Clinical Studies Regarding Vitamin D In Pd
Substantial epidemiological and clinical studies suggest that vitamin D has a positive effect on PD. In a cohort study, over 7000 Finnish’s serum samples were collected for measuring the 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, and meanwhile, the occurrence of PD was instigated over a 30-year follow-up period. The results showed that individuals with higher serum vitamin D concentrations had a lower risk of PD . Evatt et al. also noted consistent findings .
As mentioned above, vitamin D3 can be endogenously synthesized upon sunlight exposure in the skin. In a large case-control study of Danish men, involving 3819 PD patients and 19,282 controls, the scholars proposed that men working outdoors have a lower risk of PD . Another nationwide ecologic study in France also suggests that vitamin D levels are negatively correlated with the risk of PD, but this result needs taking ages into account . Wang et al. not only demonstrated a positive correlation between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and sunlight exposure but also noted that lower serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and sunlight exposure can increase the risk of PD .
Furthermore, PD patients with lower 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels may exhibit more severe symptoms compared with normal controls . Unsurprisingly, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly prevented the deterioration of PD .
Natural Treatments For Parkinsons Disease: The Facts
Its important to note that there is currently no cure for Parkinsons disease, natural or otherwise. However, many patients find that medication combined with physical exercise and home remedies help them control their symptoms and live well with the condition. No treatment will stop your Parkinsons disease from progressing. However, homeopathic treatments for Parkinsons disease have been successful at controlling symptoms in many cases.
Here are the facts surrounding natural and homeopathic treatments for Parkinsons disease:
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Possible Neuroprotective Mechanisms Of Vitamin E In Pd
Unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine injections into the striatum can cause circling behaviours and biochemical abnormalities in rats. Cadet et al. found that pretreatment with either D-alpha-tocopherol or all-racemic-alpha-tocopherol significantly attenuated these pathological changes . Roghani and Behzadi and Sharma and Nehru also demonstrated the similar phenomenon in 6-OHDA-induced PD models and in rotenone-induced PD models, respectively. However, some studies have shown that vitamin E did not completely protect dopaminergic neurons from MPTP-mediated damage in PD models . The protective effects of vitamin E may be achieved through preventing oxidative stress in cells and inhibiting apoptosis. Moreover, one study has found that tocotrienol participates not only in antioxidant stress but also in estrogen receptor beta signal transduction . Then, Nakaso’s team demonstrated a protective effect of vitamin E via this signaling pathway. Firstly, they reported that -tocotrienol/-tocotrienol exerts neuroprotective effects through the ER-PI3K/Akt signaling pathways in SH-SY5Y cells by resisting 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridiniumion- induced toxicity . Secondly, they verified this mechanism in a mouse model of PD. Meanwhile, they found -tocotrienol administration can reduce the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ER inhibitors can attenuate this neuroprotective effect . These findings indicate vitamin E may be potential therapeutic agents for PD.
Vitamins C And E Linked To Reduced Risk For Parkinson’s Disease
Higher intake of vitamins C and E was associated with a reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease in an analysis of a national cohort study. Higher intake of both vitamins, as opposed to one, strengthened the association with lower PD risk.
In addition, body mass index and coffee consumption appeared to influence the magnitude of these vitamins’ effect on PD risk. Dietary beta-carotene and dietary nonenzymatic antioxidant capacity had no effect on this risk, however.
Dr Essi Hantikainen
“Our findings suggest that the protective effect of dietary vitamins on Parkinson’s disease risk might be limited to specific vitamins, such as vitamin E and C,” Essi Hantikainen, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, told Medscape Medical News. “Therefore, implementing foods in the diet that are rich in vitamin E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinson’s disease,” she said.
More research is needed to confirm these findings, she added. “In addition, it is not yet clear what are the most beneficial amounts of vitamin E and C intake to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”
The research was January 6 in Neurology.
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Vitamin Therapy For Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease also termed as paralysis agitans, is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system, marked by gradual loss of the ability to control physical movements. It results from the destruction of brain cells that are primarily responsible for the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine and most often affects people over the age of 50.
Insufficient production of dopamine prevents the execution of smooth and controlled movements, thus leading to symptoms like trembling, slurred speech, loss of flexibility of muscles, slowness of movement and gait, difficulty while walking and cognitive decline.
Even though, there is no cure for Parkinsons disease, a multidisciplinary approach involving lifestyle changes, healthy eating habits, regular physical activity and medications can work in concert to help you manage the symptoms of the disease in a better way, thus enabling you to enhance the quality of your life.
Antioxidants Linked To Reduced Risk
Participants in the highest tertile of intake of vitamins and NEAC were generally older, more educated, and consumed greater amounts of fruit and vegetables. Participants in the lowest tertile were more likely to be smokers and had higher total dairy intake.
After adjusting the data for potential confounders, the researchers found that the risk for PD was 32% lower among people in the highest tertile of vitamin E intake, compared with those in the lowest tertile. Participants in the highest tertile of vitamin C intake, compared with those in the lowest tertile, also had a 32% lower risk for PD.
Furthermore, participants in the highest tertile of vitamin E and C intake had a 38% lower risk for PD compared with those in the lowest tertile. The researchers found no association, however, between dietary beta-carotene or NEAC and risk for PD.
Subgroup analyses indicated that vitamin E had a stronger effect on people who were overweight or obese. Such patients who were in the highest tertile of vitamin E intake had a 56% lower risk for PD.
In addition, among participants with low coffee consumption, those in the highest tertile of vitamin C intake had a 46% reduced risk for PD.
Among overweight and obese participants, those in the highest tertile of vitamin C intake had a 48% lower risk for PD.
None of the sensitivity analyses altered the researchers’ findings.
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Possible Neuroprotective Mechanisms Of Vitamin B3 In Pd
Firstly, numerous studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular energy failure are pathophysiological features of PD. Nicotinamide participates in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide via various metabolic pathways . NADH is an essential cofactor assisting the tetrahydrobiopterin functioning in tyrosine hydroxylase, which can hydroxylate tyrosine and produce dopamine NADH deficiency is common in PD .
Secondly, NADH is indispensable for the physiological function of mitochondrial complex I in ATP synthesis, and the corresponding dysfunction is involved in PD patients and animal models . Nicotinamide mononucleotide constitutes one of the key precursors of NAD+. In previous in vitro studies, the scholars have established a cellular model of PD using rotenone-treated PC12 cells, and they found the NMN treatment was associated with a significantly higher survival rate in the rotenone-treated PC12 cells. NMN is assumed to enhance the intracellular levels of NAD+ and ATP in the cellular model of PD .
What Should I Expect At An Appointment
Herbal medicine is not regulated in many countries. It is therefore a good idea to ask your doctor or other healthcare professional for recommendations. Friends, family, other people with Parkinsons or your national Parkinsons association may also be able to advise based on personal experience.
It is advisable to see a therapist who has experience of Parkinsons so do ask about their experience of the condition as well as their qualifications.
The first consultation with a herbal therapist will probably last at least an hour, during which he or she will ask detailed questions about general health, medical and family history, lifestyle and emotional state.
As the approach is holistic, treatment often includes advice on diet and lifestyle as well as herbal remedies. The medicines prescribed may well be made up of a variety of herbs, and will be tailored to individual needs. They can come in a wide range of formulations, including syrups, tinctures, lotions, creams, tablets, inhalations, gargles and washes.
The herbalist may make a follow-up appointment after two weeks, and then monthly, to monitor progress, but this depends on the condition being treated and the individuals general state of health.
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Probiotics & Parkinsons Disease
Probiotics refer to foods or nutritional supplements that contain micro-organisms meant to support health. Probiotics therefore make up a very large category of products, including certain yogurts as well as supplements in powder and pill form. You can review the use of probiotics for general health on the NIH website here. Probiotics may work by supporting a healthy balance of micro-organisms in the microbiome, defined as the trillions of microbes that live in the human gut, and possibly by modulating the bodys immune responses.
Recently, there has been concern in medical literature that the explosion of use of probiotics in the general population has outpaced our understanding of the science behind its use. Probiotics have been linked to infection, particularly in people who have compromised immune systems . Despite insufficient scientific data to support its widespread use however, ingestion of probiotics does not typically cause problems in those with normal immune systems.
In two past blogs, I wrote about the complex relationship between the gut and PD and discussed the possibility that the microbiome in patients with PD might be different than those without PD. This has led to a research interest of whether manipulating gut bacteria in PD can be therapeutic.
Take Pd Medications With Small Snacks Not Meals
Dopaminergic medications need to be taken away from high-fat, high-protein meals because amino acids and peptides compete for absorption across the blood-brain barrier, and high-volume meals can dilute stomach acid and delay the absorption of medication into the bloodstream. If you eat a big steak with your dopamine meds, they wont be absorbed as well as if you ate them with a lower-protein snack like an apple.
Because of the need to avoid combining protein with dopaminergic medications, people with Parkinsons have to be very careful to make sure they still get enough total protein in the day and that they optimize their nutrition. Protein is important because it helps our bodies heal, repair tissues, and balance blood sugar, among many other things. It pays to work with a naturopathic doctor, registered dietitian, or nutritionist who can help you develop a plan that works for you to still optimize your nutrition while you increase your ability to absorb medications. Some of my strategies for PD patients involve an adjusted feeding schedule, protein shakes between meals, small and frequent snacks throughout the day, and collagen powders in drinks that my clients dont take with meds.
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Antioxidants: Vitamin C And E Mediterranean Diet
Since there is evidence relating oxidative damage of nerve cells to PD, some researchers are studying antioxidants:
- A 2002 study focused on the potential antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 , which is believed to play an important role in mitochondria health. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of a cell. Some scientists think that abnormalities of mitochondrial function may play a role in PD.
In 2011, a large clinical trial studying the potential benefits of CoQ10 on reducing the progression of early PD was stopped because a mid-study analysis suggested that there was no improvement in the people taking CoQ10 in comparison to those receiving treatment. Researchers decided that continuing the study would have shown an extremely low likelihood of CoQ10 showing any benefit in delaying the progression of early PD.
Scientists have also examined Vitamin E, Vitamin C and health foods to evaluate oxidative properties. Vitamin E can fight damage in the brain caused by free radicals and has been suggested to lower the risk of PD. However, researchers conducted an extensive and thorough study more than 10 years ago and failed to find any evidence that Vitamin E slows the progression of PD or manages symptoms. Since Vitamin E has few side effects, many people with PD continue to take it in high doses of 400 IU or more.
Vitamins For Parkinsons Disease
Pharmaceutical treatment used for treating Parkinsons disease aim at obtaining an optimum trade-off between achieving a good control over the symptoms and minimizing side-effects related to the use of these drugs.
The role of vitamin B6 in maintaining a healthy nervous system, through its ability to improve blood circulation to the brain and promote the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine has been well established by studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
A study has established a strong link between the deficiency of vitamin B6 and an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease. Although, vitamin B6 may not be very efficient in reversing the damage done to the brain cells, it can certainly help in the second stage of the treatment by helping patients cope with the side-effects associated with many drugs used to treat PD.
However, it has been recommended to limit your vitamin B6 intake to 100 grams per day, since an overdose can cause negative side effects like loss of sensation, balance and co-ordination. Hence, vitamin B6 can be more beneficial, if obtained through the consumption of foods like fish, chicken, turkey, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, nuts, beans, legumes, etc., rather than obtaining it through the intake of over-the-counter supplements, which have doses of vitamin B6.
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