Disadvantages Of Stem Cell Approaches
While the stem cell approaches described potentially offer promising treatment approaches, a number of problems must be overcome in order for them to be used as a mainline treatment for PD.
Of course, any grafting therapy will require a neurosurgical procedure, and it must be demonstrated that this can be achieved safely, with minimal risk. Additionally, for allogenic grafts a period of immunosuppression will be required, with the associated risk of infection and malignancy. Having said this, there is postmortem evidence of FVM graft survival for over two decades, with only a transient period of immunosuppression, and taking into account the fact that the central nervous system is an immune-privileged site, it is unlikely that this will be a major problem .
It has been estimated that generating iPSCs from 150 human leukocyte antigen -typed individuals could allow for the development of haplobanks which would be able to provide HLA-matched cell products for over 90% of a population . This would mean that rather than an autologous grafting product being produced for each patient, that an iPSC line could be selected with which they were HLA compatible to generate a matched cell product. However, in order to achieve this, a degree of HLA mismatch would be necessary, and a period of immunosuppression would therefore probably be required. Additionally, this would still have significant economic costs .
What Will A Cure For Parkinson’s Look Like
Parkinson’s varies so much from person to person. There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinsons. Tremor. Pain. Hallucinations. Everyones experience is different.
Because of this, there may not be a single ‘cure’.
Instead we may need a range of different therapies to meet the needs of the individual and their specific form of the condition.
This mix may include treatments, therapies and strategies that can:
- slow or stop the progression of the condition
- replace or repair lost or damaged brain cells
- control and manage particular symptoms
- diagnose Parkinson’s at the earliest possible stage.
And this could involve medical treatments, such as drugs and surgical approaches, as well as lifestyle changes, for example to diet and exercise.
Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #3 Turmeric And Otherherbs And Spices:
A recent study published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, foundthat the extracts in turmeric, particularly curcumin and the newly discovered Ar-turmerone,can regenerate a damaged brain and reverse neurological disorders. Researchers said Ar-turmerone is a promising candidate to supportregeneration in neurologic disease. Michigan State University researcherBasir Ahmad also found that a compound in turmeric may help fight Parkinsonsdisease by disrupting the proteins responsible for the disease.
Another study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine found that tumeric can prevent and evenreverse the toxic effects exerted on the brain from fluoride exposure. Fluorideis a nasty and dangerous heavy metal that destroys brain cells and the intricateworkings of the central nervous system. Fluoride poisoning has also beenimplicated in the development of neurological diseases such as Alzheimers,Parkinsons, ALS and multiple sclerosis. 7
Turmeric is also a very potent anti-inflammatory spice. Because Parkinsons is aninflammation type disease, turmeric will help immensely. A heaped teaspoon ofhigh quality turmeric powder taken 3 times daily in asmoothie will do the trick. Just make sure you combine it with 10-12 blackpeppercorns for enhanced absorption Turmeric is also fat soluble so youll need tocombine it with some coconut oil, red palm oil or fish/krill oil as well.
Levodopa Side Effects: Dyskinesia
One side effect of levodopa is dyskinesia: uncontrolled, involuntary muscle movement. One way to describe dyskinesia is feeling like youre a puppet being controlled to move at triple speed.9 The movement can range from small twitches to more disruptive flailing and wriggling of your limbs and body parts.
As Parkinsons progresses and the amount of internal dopamine your body produces decreases, you become more dependent on the levodopa youre getting from your medication .13 When your body is not producing enough dopamine and the medication has worn off, you may have difficulty moving, freezing , slowness of movement, and rigidity or stiffness. To treat these symptoms, you may require more doses of levodopa, which can then result in excessive movements, aka dyskinesia.31
To help you experience less dyskinesia, your doctor might tinker with the dosage of levodopa youre already taking, perhaps advising you to take it less frequently or at a different dose than you were before. You also might be prescribed the medication amantadine , which was originally used as an antiviral drug but in recent years has been used to treat dyskinesia in Parkinsons.25 Amantadine is usually used in addition to carbidopa-levodopa to reduce medication-induced dyskinesia.
The Parkinsons Disease Medication Pipeline
The pipeline for Parkinsons disease medications is extremely crowded these days, with multiple medications at various stages of research development. This is very exciting news for the PD community and is a perfect example of the hope in progress part of our organizations motto. It is thrilling to see the research that is underway, especially the potential treatments that have already made it to the clinical trial phase of development. However, this progress brings with it the welcome challenge of keeping track of all the potential compounds that are in research development! Recently, a review was published in the Journal of Parkinsons Disease which cataloged the 145 compounds that are currently being studied in humans via clinical trials for PD. This is a staggering number and is even more exceptional when you consider the many more compounds that are not quite yet ready for human trials, but are currently being studied in the laboratory in test tubes, cell culture or animal models of PD. The number also does not account for compounds that have been studied in small clinical trials, garnered promising data, and will be studied in larger clinical trials in the near future but are not being tested in clinical trials right now.
Some background on the review
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Symptomatic And Neuroprotective Therapy
Pharmacologic treatment of Parkinson disease can be divided into symptomatic and neuroprotective therapy. At this time, there is no proven neuroprotective or disease-modifying therapy.
Levodopa, coupled with carbidopa, a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor , remains the gold standard of symptomatic treatment for Parkinson disease. Carbidopa inhibits the decarboxylation of levodopa to dopamine in the systemic circulation, allowing for greater levodopa distribution into the central nervous system. Levodopa provides the greatest antiparkinsonian benefit for motor signs and symptoms, with the fewest adverse effects in the short term however, its long-term use is associated with the development of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. Once fluctuations and dyskinesias become problematic, they are difficult to resolve.
Monoamine oxidase -B inhibitors can be considered for initial treatment of early disease. These drugs provide mild symptomatic benefit, have excellent adverse effect profiles, and, according to a Cochrane review, have improved long-term outcomes in quality-of-life indicators by 20-25%.
Neuroprotective therapy aims to slow, block, or reverse disease progression such therapies are defined as those that slow underlying loss of dopamine neurons. Although no therapy has been proven to be neuroprotective, there remains interest in the long-term effects of MAO-B inhibitors. Other agents currently under investigation include creatine and isradipine.
What Causes This Disease
People with Parkinsons disease have a shortage of a chemical called Dopamine. Dopamine creates synchrony is the deep structures of the brain thereby producing normal movement. This happens because the cells that make dopamine in an area called the substantia nigra are no longer present. We do not know exactly how these changes happen. Many theories include accelerated aging and cell death, a genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, among others. It is probable that the disease is caused by a combination of the above.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of PD vary from person to person, as does the rate of progression. A person who has Parkinson’s may experience some of these more common “hallmark” symptoms:
- Bradykinesia – slowness of movement, impaired dexterity, decreased blinking, drooling, expressionless face.
- Tremor at rest – involuntary shaking that decreases with purposeful movement. Typically starts on one side of the body, usually the hand.
- Rigidity – stiffness caused by involuntary increase in muscle tone.
- Postural instability – sense of imbalance. Patients often compensate by lowering their center of gravity, which results in a stooped posture.
Other symptoms that may or may not occur:
Freezing or being stuck in place Shuffling gait or dragging of one foot Stooped posture Cognitive impairment
What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease and the rate of decline vary widely from person to person. The most common symptoms include:
Other symptoms include:
- Speech/vocal changes: Speech may be quick, become slurred or be soft in tone. You may hesitate before speaking. The pitch of your voice may become unchanged .
- Handwriting changes: You handwriting may become smaller and more difficult to read.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Sleeping disturbances including disrupted sleep, acting out your dreams, and restless leg syndrome.
- Pain, lack of interest , fatigue, change in weight, vision changes.
- Low blood pressure.
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Understanding Dopamine And Parkinsons Disease
- Dopamine is a specialized chemical messenger responsible for sending signals in the brain to coordinate movement.
- In Parkinsons disease, the cells responsible for making dopamine die off, causing movement problems and other symptoms.
- Dopaminergic treatments are available to increase levels of dopamine in the brain and alleviate symptoms.
Parkinsons disease is caused by low levels of dopamine and improper signaling in the brain, which leads to movement symptoms. Parkinsonism is a set of movement disorders characterized by tremors, muscle stiffness, coordination issues, and bradykinesia . Parkinsons disease is one of the most common movement disorders that affect the central nervous system.
Parkinsons is treated with dopaminergic treatments. Over time, these medications may cause side effects like dyskinesia that can interfere with daily life.
Managing The Social And Emotional Impact
The effects of PD are broad and impact on the social and economic life of the person and their family from the time of diagnosis in a variety of ways.
Coping and adjusting to the diagnosis, facing increasing challenges at work and planning for the future can be a daunting undertaking.
Navigating this newfound uncertainty requires careful consideration and appropriate specialised support.
As the disorder progresses, caregiver burden also increases and quality of life can decrease.
A social worker specialised in movement disorders such as PD can assist the person with PD, their caregiver and family negotiate the challenges faced across the life time of the persons PD.
Social workers are highly skilled professionals who can assist you and your loved ones by:
- providing a range of different therapys like counselling
- assistance with linking to other support services
- directing you to financial support services
- information provision of entitlements for care packages
- help to facilitate suitable respite arrangements for the caregiver
- assistance and support with navigating the pathway to permanent residential care if the need arises.
After receiving a diagnosis of PD it is normal to experience a change in mood. A social worker has the appropriate specialised skills to help you deal with the reaction to your diagnosis.
Social workers are specifically trained to support you in understanding how best to manage such symptoms.
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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms
Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.
Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.
Medication Guidelines For Parkinson’s Disease
There is no one best mix of Parkinsonâs medicines. You and your doctor will have to try a few treatment approaches to figure out the best one for you.
But there are some general guidelines for taking your medication. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist for any specific tips for your treatment.
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Naturaltreatment For Parkinsons #9 Exercise And Other Alternative Therapies:
Regular exercise has been shown to help Parkinsonssufferers by reducing muscle stiffness, increasing mobility, and enhancing postureand balance. Exercise also increases oxygen levels and neurotransmitters, alongwith releasing potent mood elevating chemicals called endorphins.
The type of exercise performed for PD is crucial. Aqua orwater aerobics can be particularly useful as traditional exercise is usuallyquite difficult for many Parkinsons sufferers. Muscle decline, loss of strength,stiffness and loss of balance can make conventional exercises difficult toperform. The great thing about aqua aerobics is it still has the same benefits as other exercise regimens,but the risk of falling is eliminated.
Other types of exercises that can be beneficial for PDsufferers include Tai Chi, Yoga, dancing, walking, aerobic/jazzercise classes,and general stretching.
For more information on the different exercise programsavailable for Parkinsons patients, you can check out this website Exercise and Physical Therapy for ParkinsonsDisease
Risks And Benefits For People With Pd
There are risks and benefits associated with the use of cannabis for people with PD. Benefits include a possible improvement in anxiety, pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea. Potential adverse effects include: impaired cognition , dizziness, blurred vision, mood and behavioral changes, loss of balance and hallucinations. Chronic use of marijuana can increase risk of mood disorders and lung cancer.
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What New Treatments Are Being Developed
Thanks to the progress we’ve already made, new treatments are being tested in clinical trials that have the potential to slow, stop or even reverse Parkinson’s.
- stem cell therapies, which aim to use healthy, living cells to replace or repair the damage in the brains of people with Parkinson’s
- gene therapies, which use the power of genetics to reprogramme cells and change their behaviour to help them stay healthy and work better for longer
- growth factors , which are naturally occurring molecules that support the growth, development and survival of brain cells.
And we’re developing treatments that aim to improve life with the condition, including new drugs that can reduce dyskinesia.
Risk Factors For Parkinson’s
- The single biggest risk factor for Parkinson’s disease is advancing age. Men have a somewhat higher risk compared to women. One in 100 people over age 60 are diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
- Head injury and pesticide exposure have also been associated with higher risk.
- Several genes have been definitively linked to Parkinson’s in some people. In addition, several chromosomal regions have been linked to Parkinson’s in some families.
- Severe Parkinson’s-like symptoms have been described in people who took an illegal drug contaminated with the chemical MPTP and in people who contracted a particularly severe form of influenza during an epidemic in the early 1900s
Source: The National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke ,
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What Treatments Work For Parkinsons Disease
It can be scary to get a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, but what many people dont realize is there are many treatment options, including medications, therapies, surgery and lifestyle changes that can help lessen the impact of your symptoms. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, and not everyone experiences improvements from treatments. That being said, there are three treatments generally accepted to be the most effective: medication, deep brain stimulation surgery and exercise.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Parkinsons
Parkinsons disease occurs when nerve cells that control movement in the brain and spinal cord become impaired and die. The disease develops slowly over years. Symptoms generally begin on one side of the body. As the disease progresses, symptoms will affect both sides. Parkinsons disease symptoms can include:
- Involuntary shakiness in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Stiffness or tightness in the arms or legs
- Slowness of movement
- In advanced stages, dementia also can be experienced
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Who Can Get It
While anyone can develop Parkinsons disease, age is the greatest factor in receiving a diagnosis. The average age of developing this disease is 60, and men are more likely to receive a diagnosis than women. Having a close relative, like a parent or sibling, who has Parkinsons disease doubles your risk factor.
Common Drugs For Parkinson’s Disease
Levodopa and carbidopa . Levodopa is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinsonâs. Itâs also the best at controlling the symptoms of the condition, particularly slow movements and stiff, rigid body parts.
Levodopa works when your brain cells change it into dopamine. Thatâs a chemical the brain uses to send signals that help you move your body. People with Parkinsonâs donât have enough dopamine in their brains to control their movements.
Sinemet is a mix of levodopa and another drug called carbidopa. Carbidopa makes the levodopa work better, so you can take less of it. That prevents many common side effects of levodopa, such as nausea, vomiting, and irregular heart rhythms.
Sinemet has the fewest short-term side effects, compared with other Parkinsonâs medications. But it does raise your odds for some long-term problems, such as involuntary movements. An inhalable powder form of levodopa and the tablet istradefylline have been approved for those experiencing OFF periods, OFF periods can happen when Parkinsonâs symptoms return during periods between scheduled doses of levodopa/carbidopa.
People who take levodopa for 3-5 years may eventually have restlessness, confusion, or unusual movements within a few hours of taking the medicine. Changes in the amount or timing of your dose will usually prevent these side effects.
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