Parkinsons Disease (PD)
Nutritional wellness company providing information on treating Parkinsons disease.
Parkinsons disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system affecting more than 1.5 million people in the United States. Clinically, the disease is characterized by a decrease in spontaneous movements, gait difficulty, postural instability, rigidity and tremor. PD is caused by the degeneration of the neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain, resulting in decreased dopamine availability. An English physician, Dr. James Parkinson, who called it "Shaking Palsy", originally described the major symptoms of the disease in 1817. However, it was not until the 1960's that pathological and biochemical changes in the brain of patients were identified, opening the way to the first effective medication for the disease.
PD does not discriminate between genders-men and women alike are affected. Even though there is an increase of patients of younger age acquiring PD, the frequency of the disease is considerably higher in individuals over 60 years of age. Increased life expectancy of today's world means an increasing number of people will bear the burden of Parkinsons disease.
Treatment for Parkinsons Disease
Nutrition for Parkinsons Disease
The study involved 80 early-stage Parkinsons patients. Half consumed varying amounts of CoQ10 and half took placebos for up to 16 months. Doses of CoQ10 were 300 milligrams, 600 milligrams or 1,200 milligrams, respectively. Symptom progression was monitored for the duration of the study and results showed that by the eighth month, the 23 patients on the highest dose (1,200 mg) showed significantly less impairment than the others. In fact, these 23 patients had 44 percent less decline in mental function, movement and ability to perform daily living tasks than the placebo group. Past research had unveiled the link between damaged nerve cells and neurological disease. In these damaged cells, the mitochondria ("power-house" of each cell) are impaired--CoQ10 is thought to prevent deterioration of mitochondria function. Also, previous research found that CoQ10 levels in the body were reduced in these patients. This led to the theory that CoQ10 supplementation might help protect nerve cells, slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Further studies are currently underway and the focus is on even higher levels of CoQ10.
A number of disease centers have been studying the effects of Coenzyme Q-10 on patients for decades and the results of these studies have been extensively published. They indicate that CoQ10 supplementation delays the disabling effects of a particular disease (including ALS) longer than those in control groups (who did not use CoQ10).
All this information does not mean CoQ10 is a cure; however, it may slow the progression of neuronal cell death. Many people, understandably, have questions about whether to take CoQ10, and if so, the kind and amount to take, and whether any adverse side effects are possible.
The DASH Diet for Parkinsons Disease
Modifying your diet is one effective way to combat the fluid retention, weight gain and hypertension. The "DASH Diet"-Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-was developed and tested by researchers in a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), with additional support by the National Center for Research Resources and the Office of Research on Minority Health, all units of the National Institutes of Health. The DASH Diet's final results appear in the April 17, 1997, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
In this diet, salt is reduced while vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products are increased in the daily menu. It also is low in cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and moderately high in protein. Participants were able to lower blood pressure and reduce or even eliminate the need for anti-hypertensive medications.
(National Institutes of Health)
Individuals who are experiencing fluid retention, weight gain, or high blood pressure should ask their physician to refer them to a registered dietitian (RD). The RD will individualize the DASH Diet to meet personal needs. Please go to http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr97/Dash.htm for more information including a sample menu and eating tips.
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