What Causes The Disease
The precise cause of PD is unknown, although some cases of PD are hereditary and can be traced to specific genetic mutations. Most cases are sporadicthat is, the disease does not typically run in families. It is thought that PD likely results from a combination of genetics and exposure to one or more unknown environmental factors that trigger the disease.
The protein alpha-synuclein. The affected brain cells of people with PD contain Lewy bodiesdeposits of the protein alpha-synuclein. Researchers do not yet know why Lewy bodies form or what role they play in the disease. Some research suggests that the cells protein disposal system may fail in people with PD, causing proteins to build up to harmful levels and trigger cell death. Additional studies have found evidence that clumps of protein that develop inside brain cells of people with PD may contribute to the death of neurons.
Genetics. Several genetic mutations are associated with PD, including the alpha-synuclein gene, and many more genes have been tentatively linked to the disorder. The same genes and proteins that are altered in inherited cases may also be altered in sporadic cases by environmental toxins or other factors.
Environment. Exposure to certain toxins has caused parkinsonian symptoms in rare circumstances . Other still-unidentified environmental factors may also cause PD in genetically susceptible individuals.
Can I Be Cured If I Get Parkinsons Disease
Unfortunately, Parkinsons disease is not curable. There has not been developed a method that completely remove or reverse the disease condition. However, the disease symptoms can be managed with treatment. The medication available today has not only increased the quality of life but also enormously prolonged the life expectancy of patients.
Current Parkinsons Treatments Cant Slow Down Onset Of Disease
Parkinsons is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which mainly the area of the brain that controls movement leading to a slow onset of symptoms including tremors, rigidity and slow movement.
More than 10 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinsons disease, according to the US-based Parkinsons Foundation, with the Parkinsons News Today website saying it affects 1,900 per 100,000 among those aged over 80,
Typically, by the time people are diagnosed with the condition, they have already lost between 70% and 80% of their dopamine-producing cells, which are involved in co-ordinating movement.
While current treatments mask the symptoms, there is nothing that can slow down its progression or prevent more brain cells from being lost.
As dopamine levels continue to fall, symptoms get worse and new symptoms can appear.
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We Dont Fully Understand The Causes
If we are to design a treatment that stops the condition at its source we really need to know why brain cell death happens in the first place.
In history, blind luck has led scientists to stumble upon effective treatments for conditions like smallpox and infections that are responsive to penicillin. But for a condition as complex as Parkinsons we should invest in research that fills in our incomplete view of what is happening inside the brain as it will give us the best chance of developing treatments that tackle the underlying causes of brain cell loss. Fortunately, there are some extremely talented and dedicated researchers, working with cutting-edge science and technology, trying to better understand Parkinsons and they are making new discoveries all the time.
Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, no. Parkinsons disease is long-term disease that worsens over time. Although there is no way to prevent or cure the disease , medications may significantly relieve your symptoms. In some patients especially those with later-stage disease, surgery to improve symptoms may be an option.
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Parkinson’s Disease Cause Found
RECOVERY FROM PARKINSONS DISEASE In 1995, John Coleman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by five practitioners . By August 1995, John had lost his power of speech. Suffering from Stage IV Parkinson’s Disease and Multi-System Atrophy symptoms, he was unable to walk 5 metres without assistance, and took an hour and a half to get dressed. Severely dissatisfied with western medical treatment and prognosis, John decided to pursue other methods. With the aid of Homeopathy, Aqua Hydration Therapy, Bowen Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Flower Essences, Counselling, Meditation and Spiritual Development, John was completely symptom free by April 1998.
He said that he believed that I had Parkinsons disease and was developing Multi System Atrophy. He thought I required some “Parkinsons disease treatment” but wanted a second opinion first.
Why did I recover when so many had tried and failed before me? Was it the Aquas that took a little while before their full benefit became apparent? Was it the accumulation of many therapies that just happened to coincide at that time? I am not sure. I am certain that the whole of my journey is important and it is almost impossible to separate the effect of each therapy/experience from the whole.
Scientists Are Close To Finding A Cure For Parkinsons Disease
Researchers studied mutant fruit flies to uncover how the disease affects the brain
SCIENTISTS are on the brink of finding a cure for Parkinsons disease after discovering what causes the illness and how it affects brain cells.
Experts previously thought people who fell ill at a younger age than most who develop Parkinsons suffer from a poorly functioning mitochondria.
These are the powerhouses of cells and without reliable sources of energy, neurons wither and die.
But Medical Research Council researchers at University of Leicester found this may not be the complete picture of what is happening within the brain cells affected by Parkinsons.
Now it is thought neuro deterioration occurs in response to stress on the endoplasmic reticulum part of the outer skin of the cell rather than failure of the mitochondria as previously thought.
During the study fruit flies were injected with chemicals to prevent the effects of ER stress and as a result, it prevented the death of neurons which are commonly associated with the disease.
Dr Miguel Martins said: This research challenges the current held belief that Parkinsons disease is a result of malfunctioning mitochondria.
By identifying and preventing ER stress in a model of the disease it was possible for us to prevent neurodegeneration.
Lab experiments, like this, allow us to see what effect ER stress has on Parkinsons disease.
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First Hints Parkinson’s Can Be Stopped
Health and science reporter, BBC News website
It may be possible to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease with a drug normally used in type 2 diabetes, a clinical trial suggests.
Current drugs help manage the symptoms, but do not prevent brain cells dying.
The trial on 62 patients, published in the Lancet, hints the medicine halted the progression of the disease.
The University College London team is “excited”, but it urges caution as any long-term benefit is uncertain and the drug needs more testing.
“There’s absolutely no doubt the most important unmet need in Parkinson’s is a drug to slow down disease progression, it’s unarguable,” Prof Tom Foltynie, one of the researchers, told the BBC.
In Parkinson’s, the brain is progressively damaged and the cells that produce the hormone dopamine are lost.
It leads to a tremor, difficulty moving and eventually memory problems.
Therapies help manage symptoms by boosting dopamine levels, but the death of the brain continues and the disease gets worse.
No drug stops that happening.
Why Is The Cost Low
People tell me that I should be charging hundreds of dollars for this work, but the purpose of creating the book and recording the meditations has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with helping people who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinsons feel better. My true reward comes when I have been able to document the successful recovery of thousands of people with the symptoms of Parkinsons who have transformed their thought patterns. This is the work I have been doing on myself and I am here to tell you that the exercises and meditations have worked miracles on my own ability to manifest energy, health and happiness in my own life.
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A Stroll To Times Square
Lopez had barely settled back into his hospital bed after the four-hour operation when he felt his muscles strengthening and the tremors dissipating. He threatened to arm-wrestle the surgeon who came to check on him. And he told his personal assistant that he wanted to get the heck out of the hospital and take a walk. I said, this is what it feels like to be normal, Lopez recalled.
Lopez, his son, and the assistant walked the 2 miles to Times Square under a nearly cloudless sky, in a balmy 70 degrees with only a light wind fluttering the awnings along Broadway. Lopez had had his new dopamine-producing neurons only a few hours, but it already felt like Lourdes had slipped through a wormhole in the space-time continuum and landed in Manhattan.
It was the sort of description that made his physicians squirm. As Lopez and his doctors recounted the saga a year later, Carter brought the discussion crashing back down to reality. He didnt dispute that Lopez felt and moved much better in the immediate aftermath of the cell implants. But that did not mean they worked.
Weve seen this sort of immediate I feel better before, said Carter, who is now chief of neurosurgery at Mass. General. It takes much longer, on the order of months, for dopamine-neuron progenitor cells like those Lopez received to form synapses with existing neurons and thereby start to restore lost motor functions.
Pregnant Woman Killed By Fleeing ‘robber’ But Miracle Baby Survives
An incredible video captures the precise moment a man stops shaking as his Parkinsons is cured.
In what doctors are calling a medical milestone, the video shows Filipino patient Jose Alvarez undergoing a groundbreaking brain operation at a hospital in Bengaluru, India, all while wide awake.
The YouTube video posted on SWOC Brain on Wednesday shows the mans hands and legs twitching uncontrollably due to the crippling disease, a progressive nervous system disorder defined by muscle rigidity, tremors and changes in speech and gait, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Then the unthinkable happens: Alvarez miraculously stops shaking post-operation.
My speech is better, says a stunned Alvarez, who can be seen raising his arms sans any spasms in front of the equally astonished surgical team.
Though hard to believe, the operation is supported by hard science. The surgeons performed a right-sided stereotactic MRI-guided pallidotomy, a cutting-edge procedure that involves burning a circuit into the patients brain, reports SWOC Brain.
Doctors have given me a new lease of life, says Alvarez. Life has been my best so far but I now experience freedom.
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Do Symptoms Get Worse
PD does not affect everyone the same way. The rate of progression and the particular symptoms differ among individuals.
PD symptoms typically begin on one side of the body. However, the disease eventually affects both sides, although symptoms are often less severe on one side than on the other.
Early symptoms of PD may be subtle and occur gradually. Affected people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of a chair. Activities may take longer to complete than in the past. Muscles stiffen and movement may be slower. The persons face may lack expression and animation . People may notice that they speak too softly or with hesitation, or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small. This very early period may last a long time before the more classical and obvious motor symptoms appear.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may begin to interfere with daily activities. Affected individuals may not be able to hold utensils steady or they may find that the shaking makes reading a newspaper difficult.
People with PD often develop a so-called parkinsonian gait that includes a tendency to lean forward, taking small quick steps as if hurrying , and reduced swinging in one or both arms. They may have trouble initiating movement , and they may stop suddenly as they walk .
Parkinsons Disease Is A Progressive Disorder
Parkinsons Disease is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects movement and, in some cases, cognition. Individuals with PD may have a slightly shorter life span compared to healthy individuals of the same age group. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research, patients usually begin developing Parkinsons symptoms around age 60. Many people with PD live between 10 and 20 years after being diagnosed. However, a patients age and general health status factor into the accuracy of this estimate.
While there is no cure for Parkinsons disease, many patients are only mildly affected and need no treatment for several years after their initial diagnosis. However, PD is both chronic, meaning it persists over a long period of time, and progressive, meaning its symptoms grow worse over time. This progression occurs more quickly in some people than in others.
Pharmaceutical and surgical interventions can help manage some of the symptoms, like bradykinesia , rigidity or tremor , but not much can be done to slow the overall progression of the disease. Over time, shaking, which affects most PD patients, may begin to interfere with daily activities and ones quality of life.
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The Promise And Potential Of Stem Cells In Parkinsons Disease
Neurosurgeon Viviane Tabar is co-leading a trial to inject stem cells into the brains of people with Parkinsons disease to restore dopamine levels.Credit: Courtesy of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Neurosurgeon Viviane Tabar has scrubbed in. In front of her is the first participant in a clinical trial to determine whether stem cells can be safely injected into the brains of people with Parkinsons disease. The cells had been frozen, but they are now thawed and sitting on ice, waiting for their moment.
Tabar, a physician-scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, makes an incision in her patients scalp and drills a small hole in their skull. She then uses a brain scan almost like a GPS, she says, to guide her to the putamen a part of the brain in which levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine are unusually low in people with Parkinsons. Once she has confirmed that shes reached the right spot, she injects the stem cells, then repeats the process on the other side of the brain. She hopes these cells will take hold and eventually begin to produce dopamine where otherwise there would be little or none. The surgery itself is minor enough that the patient can go home the next day.
Complementary And Supportive Therapies
A wide variety of complementary and supportive therapies may be used for PD, including:
A healthy diet. At this time there are no specific vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients that have any proven therapeutic value in PD. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and other components of the National Institutes of Health are funding research to determine if caffeine, antioxidants, and other dietary factors may be beneficial for preventing or treating PD. A normal, healthy diet can promote overall well-being for people with PD just as it would for anyone else. Eating a fiber-rich diet and drinking plenty of fluids also can help alleviate constipation. A high protein diet, however, may limit levodopas absorption.
Exercise. Exercise can help people with PD improve their mobility, flexibility, and body strength. It also can improve well-being, balance, minimize gait problems, and strengthen certain muscles so that people can speak and swallow better. General physical activity, such as walking, gardening, swimming, calisthenics, and using exercise machines, can have other benefit. People with PD should always check with their doctors before beginning a new exercise program.
Alternative approaches that are used by some individuals with PD include:
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Clinical Trials Often Fail
Did you know up to 10% of people taking part in clinical trials into early Parkinsons may not actually have the condition. And because they wont benefit from the treatment they are likely affecting results even leading to the failure of these trials.
Fortunately, through initiatives like the Critical Path for Parkinsons, were leading the way towards better clinical trials that are more likely to succeed.
Today, we are starting to identify what may be behind the loss of brain cells, and clinical trials are underway to try and tackle everything from the build up of alpha-synuclein to inflammation. But, without effective clinical trials, we risk failure simply because we are not testing treatments in the right way.
How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards
- Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
- Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
- Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
- Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
- Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.
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