17 Steps to Improve Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative disorder of the central nervous system after Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that 1% of individuals over the age of 65 are diagnosed with this disorder (1, 2). In this article, you will discover 17 action steps to improve Parkinson’s disease naturally.
This once rare disease has seen enormous growth over the last 30 years. In 2005, there were an estimated 4.1 million people worldwide with Parkinson’s disease. In 25 years, that number is predicted to climb to 8.7 million. As a country we spend over 23 billion dollars each year on Parkinson’s treatments
The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s include movement related disorders such as shaking, rigidity, difficulty walking and slowness of movement. As the disease progresses it leads to cognitive and behavioral problems such as dementia, insomnia and irritability.
The individuals often have pain and slurred speech. They also take on a stooped posture as their brain atrophy’s. It is an incredible burden for someone watch a loved one go through the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The goal of this article is to help you take back control of your health and your family’s health before it is too late.
The Neuro Degenerative Process:
Parkinson’s particularly affects a region of the basal ganglia called the substantia nigra. The basal ganglia are a group of brain structures that utilize dopamine as their primary neurotransmitter.
Neuronal loss in these regions is associated brain cell inflammation and the formation of cross-linked proteins called Lewy bodies in the remaining nerve cells. Lewy bodies are protein aggregates that form and block normal cellular activity (3, 4).
Type II Diabetes and Parkinson’s Risk
Researchers in Finland have found that individuals with type II diabetes have an 83% greater risk of developing Parkinson’s (5). In the study, researchers followed a group of more than 50,000 men and women in Finland over a period of 18 years. During that time, 324 men and 309 women developed Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers found people who had type II diabetes at the start of the study were much more likely to be later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A later Denmark study confirmed the findings of this Finland study in that individuals with type II diabetes are at a higher risk of Parkinson’s development (6).
Elevated Blood Sugar and Brain Health:
Elevated blood sugar is known to link with protein structures in a process called glycation. This reaction of reducing sugars connecting to amino acids creates advanced glycolytic enzymes (AGE’s). AGE’s are especially dangerous and create massive amounts of free radicals (7).
AGE damage in the basal ganglia region is associated with Lewy body formation. These structures are created and aggregate in the basal ganglia due to excessive oxidative stress within the sensitive neuronal tissues (8).
Oxidative stress in the brain is most commonly associated with blood sugar imbalances and environmental toxins such as heavy metals and organic toxins like pesticides and herbicides (9, 10).
Pesticides and Parkinson’s Disease:
British studies have linked users of conventional herbicide weed killers and pesticide fly killers to be almost twice as likely to form Parkinson’s disease (11, 12).
Many of these products kill weeds and bugs by affecting protein chemistry within the organism. This seems to clearly have deleterious effects on humans as well. The greatest potential sources of exposure include crop spraying, weed killers, pesticides and insecticides used in the garden and fly sprays and ant powders used in the home.
Most people spray these things in their home without even thinking twice. Additionally, these toxic chemicals are often found in non-organic fruits and vegetables. It is key to minimize your exposure to these chemicals.
Every cell of the body has mitochondria within it that produce energy for the cell. The mitochondria are the battery packs of the cell and they are extremely important. High levels of oxidative stress wear down the mitochondria and cause a dysfunctional state. Studies have found that individuals with Parkinson’s disease have an advanced state of mitochondrial dysfunction (13, 14, 15).
Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s are evidenced to have massive cell death of the dopamine producing cells in key areas of the basal ganglia such as the substantia nigra. Research has shown that this is initiated by a profound glutathione (GSH) decrease and a mitochondrial dysfunction.