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					What is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous
system characterized by slowness and poorness of purposeful movement and
rigid muscles. Degeneration of the neurons that use the neurotransmitter
dopamine and the subsequent decline in dopamine levels occur in the part of the
brain called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is involved in stimulating and
coordinating the body’s motor movements, so PD is initially described as a
disorder of movement. It can affect other body systems, causing problems within
the nervous system such as dementia and problems with smell.

PD normally manifests only in persons above the age of 40. Its peak age of onset
is in the 60s (range is 35 to 85 years), and the course of the illness ranges
between 10 and 25 years. Genetic clusters of forms of PD comprise about 5% of
cases. Although most patients with PD appear to have no strong genetic
determinant, epidemiologic evidence points to a complex interaction between
genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. Risk factors include a positive
family history, male gender, head injury, exposure to pesticides, consumption of
well water, and rural living.

Primary PD is from an unknown cause, whereas secondary Parkinsonism refers to
the symptoms being caused by another disease toxin poisonings or drugs.

Symptoms of PD
The main symptoms of PD are called parkinsonism, defined as a paucity and
slowness of movement (bradykinesia), tremor at rest, rigidity, a shuffling gait,
and flexed posture.
Non-motor aspects of PD include depression and anxiety, cognitive impairment,
sleep disturbances, sensory abnormalities and pain, loss of smell (anosmia), and
disturbances of autonomic function. Together they may contribute as much to the
burden of the disease as the more obvious motor abnormalities. Some of these
(e.g., anosmia, depression, and sleep disorders) may be present long before the
onset of motor signs. Changes in mood, cognition, and behavior are common
accompaniments of the later stages of PD may occur as a side effect of

Diagnosis and Pharmaceutical Interventions

A diagnosis of PD can be made with some confidence in patients who present with
at least two of the three cardinal signs—rest tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia.
Tremor is particularly important, as it is present in 85% of patients with true PD;
a diagnosis of PD is particularly difficult when tremor is absent.

A unilateral and gradual onset of symptoms further supports the diagnosis.
Masked facies- where the face becomes masklike with an open mouth and
decreased eye blinking, stooped posture, and decreased arm swing complete the
early picture. The onset may also be heralded by vague feelings of weakness and
fatigue, incoordination, aching, and discomfort.

                     PO Box 19033 Onekawa Napier
                  Ph: 06 843 9264 Fax: 0800 439 630
Pharmaceutical Medications
The goals of therapy in PD are to maintain function and quality of life and to avoid
drug-induced complications. Most commonly used is the dopamine precursor
levodopa in combination with carbidopa (Sinemet). Levodopa is usually effective
for motor symptoms at the beginning, its effectiveness usually begins to decline
after five to seven years and over time tends to cause increased motor
fluctuations, dyskinesias, and other adverse side effects. It should not be used
with antidepressant medications of the MAOI class or by people with a history of
melanoma (a skin cancer). Side effects include hallucinations, dizziness,
insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations, problems with digestion and increased
problems with movement.

Amantadine (symmetrel), a commonly used medication, releases dopamine from
those remaining neurons that have not become damaged by the progression of
PD. Amantadine can cause numerous toxic side effects including nervous system
disturbances and hallucinations and should not be used by people with a pre-
existing seizure or psychiatric disorder. Pergolide (permax) is used as an adjunct
to Levodopa for the treatment of PD, and frequently added when levodopa starts
to lose it effectiveness. It is an ergot derivative, and should not be used by
lactating women. Selegiline (apo-selegiline or eldepreyl) is an inhibitor of
monoamine oxidase-B, and can be used with levodopa. It acts on a similar
metabolic pathway as some antidepressants of the MAOI class and it should not
be taken by people on those medications.

For some the use of medications alone does not improve symptoms and they may
wish to have surgery, which ablates brain tissue, or deep brain stimulation (DBS),
where an electric probe is placed in the brain to provide stimulation. Only specific
patients are candidate for these procedures, and it should be discussed with
specialized medical personal to evaluation.

Lifestyle and Dietary Modifications

There is substantial preliminary evidence that exposure to certain organochlorine
insecticides (e.g., lindane [Kwell®, Kildane®, Scabene®] and dieldrin [Dieldrite])
may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Avoiding contact with
pesticides and pesticide residues may be an important preventive measure for
Parkinson’s and other diseases. Carbon monoxide is another compound where
exposure is implicated in PD.

Presence of heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium can affect normal brain
function. For individuals with exposure to these chemicals, or for those at risk it is
advised to get testing and heavy metal chelation from a qualified professional.

PD patients should not consume aspartame, as it can further exacerbate the
disease (due to the excitotoxic effects of aspartame).

                      PO Box 19033 Onekawa Napier
                   Ph: 06 843 9264 Fax: 0800 439 630
Exercise is beneficial, and a program of intensive exercise has been shown to
significantly improve the signs and symptoms of PD. Athletic training including
resistance exercises in water to increase strength, as well as exercises increasing
flexibility and balance is most helpful at retaining muscle mass. Regular weight-
bearing exercise, exposure to sunlight, and a variety of supplements and dietary
changes may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis

Nutritional Factors Shown to be Beneficial

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)
NAC can increase the body’s production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant in
the brain. NAC itself is a potent antioxidant shown to reduce formation of nitric
oxide, a free radical implicated for a causative role in Parkinson’s disease,
Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Dose: 400 mg a day

Phosphatidylserine (PS)
PS can improve memory and people with Parkinson’s disease treated with L-dopa
have been reported to have reduced levels of the neurotransmitter PS.
Dose: 100 mg a day

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)
CoQ-10 measurably increases the efficiency of cellular energy production. In
addition, it serves as a potent brain antioxidant.
Dose: 120 mg a day

Acetyl-L-carnitine enhances the energy of the neurons bringing fuel sources into
the mitochondria – the energy producing machinery of the neuron. This
particularly benefits damaged brain neurons, which are characterized by
decreased energy producing ability. In addition, acetyl-L-carnitine acts as an
effective antioxidant and been demonstrated to protect laboratory animals from
developing parkinsonism when they are exposed to chemicals known to induce
the condition
Dose: 400 mg

Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid provides powerful antioxidant action and regenerates other
important brain antioxidants including vitamins E, C, and glutathione. Unlike
other antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble, greatly
enhancing its ability to be absorbed from the gut and penetrate into the brain.
Dose: 300-800 mg a day

Gingko biloba
Gingko, one of the most extensively studied nutritional supplements for
neurodegenerative conditions, directly improves brain metabolism, increases
brain blood flow, and provides antioxidant action.
Dose: 60 mg of the standardized extract

                      PO Box 19033 Onekawa Napier
                   Ph: 06 843 9264 Fax: 0800 439 630
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-HTP is useful in the treatment of PD for the treatment of the depression that
frequently is associated with it.
Dose: 100 - 600 mg per day

Vitamin D
People with PD have a higher risk of osteoporosis, and it may act as an
Dose: 400 IU a day

Vitamin C
C is benifical to those with PD who are also on Levodopa as it can increase
cellular energy while acting as an antioxidant.
Dose: 800 – 2000 mg a day

Recommended NaturalMeds Products for Parkinsons Disease

Brain Sustain Powder
BrainSustain is a powdered supplement that contains N-acetyl cysteine,
phosphatidylserine, acetyl-l-carnitine, coenenzyme Q 10, alpha lipoic acid and
ginkgo extract in a great tasting drink. It also contain nutrients such as vitamin C,
D and E; the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium. It comes in a whey or
rice protein. It is specifically formulated to enhance brain performance and
promote brain health.
Dose: 2 scoops (25 g) a day Pack size: Whey powder -330 grams; Rice powder-
600 g

Made by the makes of BrainSustain, Neuroactives is a capsule alternative. It
contains N-acetyl cysteine, phosphatidylserine, acetyl-l-carnitine, coenzyme Q 10,
alpha lipoic acid and ginkgo extract, but without the extra vitamins. This product
is useful for someone already on a multivitamin.
Dose: 2 capsules twice a day Pack size: 60 capsules

Vitamin C Ascorbic acid crystals
Vitamin is an astounding nutrient, as supplementation not only helps with
immune function but as an antioxidant protects against free radical damage.
Powdered forms of vitamin C are easy to take.
Dose: ½ teaspoon two to threes times a day Pack size: 8 ounces (226.796 g)

For those who prefer to take tablets, this vitamin C provides 1000 mg or 1 gram
of ascorbic acid per tablet. It is made from tapioca, otherwise called sago, a GMO
free, corn free source.
Dose: 2 tablets two to three times a day Pack size: 100 tablet

5-HTP 50 mg
Studies have shown that 5-HTP increases the amount and availability of
serotonin, a neurotransmitter, produced by the body.
Dose: begin with 1 capsule, gradually increasing dosage up to two capsules daily,
if needed, three times a day, away from food Pack size: 30 tablets

                      PO Box 19033 Onekawa Napier
                   Ph: 06 843 9264 Fax: 0800 439 630
Alpha- Lipoic acid 100 mg
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that is soluble in both fat and water. It
directly recycles vitamin C and indirectly recycles vitamin E, providing additional
antioxidant protection.
Dose: 2 capsules two to three times a day Pack size: 30 tablets

CoQ10 30 mg
Coenzyme Q10 is essential to human life. It plays a role in energy production
cycles that converts food into energy. It is best taken with food, especially with a
food that contains fat as it improves absorption.
Dose: 4 capsules with meals a day Pack size: 30 and 60 capsules

Vitamin D 1000 IU
Scientists are discovering that vitamin D is an important hormone precursor that
supports immune response and helps regulate the health of at least 20 different
tissues, including the nervous system.
Dose: 1 tablet a day Pack size: 100 tablets

N- Acetyl-Cysteine 600 mg
N-Acetyl Cysteine, a stable form of the sulfur-containing amino acid L-cysteine, is
a powerful antioxidant. N-acetyl cysteine is also a precursor to glutathione,
another potent antioxidant that plays an important role in the liver's
detoxification pathways.
Dose: 1 capsule three times a day Pack size: 30 tablets

                      PO Box 19033 Onekawa Napier
                   Ph: 06 843 9264 Fax: 0800 439 630

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