Preventing Parkinson’s

At this time, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But there are several medicines that can help control the symptoms, making the disease easier to live with. Our bodies have developed what Weinstock calls “shields” which interact synergistically to protect us against PD and help endure the multiple insults our brains encounter while just living a normal life.

According to Weinstock, preventing PD boils down to the following factors:

Genetics

Having a close relative with PD, does increase the risk of developing the disease. While you can’t change the genes you were born with, epigenetics research is proving that the life you live turns those genes on and off. Weinstock writes “Genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.”

Diet

Eating a healthy diet is a key element in an anti-PD lifestyle. As with the prevention of disease and promoting maximum health, an optimum diet for reducing the risk of Parkinson’s would include lots of greens, vegetables, and fruits, preferably organic, and foods high in protein, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and good fats, while being low in carbohydrates, chemicals, and foods causing inflammation.

Exercise

People who engage in moderate to vigorous physical activities have a significantly lower prevalence of PD. Unfortunately, once someone has developed Parkinson’s, there’s a strong likelihood that the benefits of exercise will not be fully realized due to lower levels of neurotransmitters in the body.

Working up a sweat regularly is about the best thing you can do for your brain. In How Exercise Helps Your Brain, I write:

 Moving your body increases the blood flow to your brain which elevates oxygen levels which trig­gers bio­chem­i­cal changes protecting the new resulting neu­rons by bathing them in nerve growth fac­tor (BDNF). These conditions encourage your brain to grow and change by forming new neural pathways and synaptic con­nec­tions, a process known as neuroplasticity.

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