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Parkinson’s Disease Slow Progression

How Does Parkinsons Progress

Slowing the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PD): The Hype and the Hope

Parkinsons is a chronic and slowly progressive disorder. This means that symptoms normally appear slowly and develop gradually over time. The stage at which symptoms appear, speed at which they progress and the severity of those symptoms will vary from person to person. The most important point is that Parkinsons affects everyone differently.

There are a wide range of symptoms, but it is highly unlikely that you will experience every possible symptom. Some of the early symptoms of Parkinsons include handwriting changes, reduced sense of smell, tiredness and constipation. As Parkinsons progresses symptoms will change over time, and new symptoms will emerge. It can take many years for symptoms to progress to a point where they cause problems.

Ultimately symptoms will begin to impact on your day-to-day life. Many symptoms are related to physical movement, so you may find that walking becomes difficult. You may also experience non-movement symptoms such as mood changes, disrupted sleep or difficulty communicating. As these symptoms worsen it may become difficult to manage all of your daily activities.

Currently, there is no known way to slow the progression of Parkinsons. However, medications and other treatments can help to effectively manage your symptoms. To ensure the effectiveness of medications, they will need to be reviewed regularly by your specialist or doctor.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider Or When Should I Seek Care

You should see your healthcare provider as recommended, or if you notice changes in your symptoms or the effectiveness of your medication. Adjustments to medications and dosages can make a huge difference in how Parkinsons affects your life.

When should I go to ER?

Your healthcare provider can give you guidance and information on signs or symptoms that mean you should go to the hospital or seek medical care. In general, you should seek care if you fall, especially when you lose consciousness or might have an injury to your head, neck, chest, back or abdomen.

More Important To Maintain Exercise Than To Be Active Before Disease Starts Study Shows

byJudy George, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today January 13, 2022

People with early Parkinson’s disease who exercised regularly over 5 years performed better on cognitive testing and had slower disease progression in several domains, an observational cohort study showed.

Regular overall physical activity levels over time were significantly associated with slower deterioration of postural instability and gait scores , activities of daily living scores , and processing speed scores , reported Kazuto Tsukita, MD, of Kyoto University in Japan, and colleagues.

Moderate-to-vigorous exercise was linked with slower decline in postural and gait stability, while work-related physical activity was tied to slower deterioration in processing speed, they wrote in Neurology. Baseline activity level, however, was not tied to Parkinson’s progression.

“We found that to slow progression of the disease, it was more important for people with Parkinson’s to maintain an exercise program than it was to be active at the beginning of the disease,” Tsukita said in a statement.

“Although medications can provide people with Parkinson’s some symptom relief, they haven’t been shown to slow the progression of the disease,” Tsukita added. “We found that regular physical activity, including household tasks and moderate exercise, may actually improve the course of the disease over the long run.”

Disclosures

Primary Source

Neurology

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How To Slow Parkinsons Disease

It begins with trembling or shaking, usually in the fingers of one hand. Over time the tremor worsens, and other symptoms such as slow movements, muscle rigidity, and difficulty walking appear. Patients with Parkinsons disease are eventually given prescriptions for l-dopa and other drugs, and they may be offered deep brain electrical stimulation, stem-cell or gene therapy somewhere down the road. But the one thing they want most, hope for improvement, they do not get.

Until now. Researchers have discovered that coenzyme Q10 and creatine, nutritional supplements that are sold in health food stores, offer something rare to those who suffer with Parkinsons disease: hope.

Parkinsons Disease and Free Radical Damage

Parkinsons disease is characterized by a sharp decline in dopamine, a key neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain and affects movement. This decline is caused by the destruction of neurons, or brain cells, that produce dopamine. As dopamine levels fall, other neurons compensate and become overactive, which further contributes to the symptoms of the disease.

Nobody knows why the dopamine-producing neurons die. A genetic predisposition has been identified, as has a link to certain environmental toxins. Another suspect, which is a factor in many degenerative diseases, is free radical damage. Levels of some free radical fighting antioxidants are known to be low in patients with Parkinsons, especially in the dopamine-generating neurons.

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Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: Life Expectancy

Parkinson

Even though Parkinson’s disease is a serious, progressive condition, it is not considered a fatal illness. People who have Parkinson’s disease usually have the same average life expectancy as people without the disease.

But when the disease is in its advanced stages, Parkinson’s symptoms can lead to life-threatening complications, including:

  • Falls that lead to fractured bones

Thinking about the progression of Parkinson’s disease can be frightening. But proper treatments can help you live a full, productive life for years to come. And researchers hope to one day find ways to halt the progression of Parkinson’s and restore lost functioning.

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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms

Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.

Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinsons. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.

Basic Science Supporting Exercise As A Disease Modifier In Pd

In animal models of PD, exercise has shown to be neuroprotective against the neurotoxins, 6-OHDA and MPTP. Several protective mechanisms have been implicated, including neurotrophic growth factors release, anti-oxidation, and anti-inflammation . Tillerson et al. demonstrated in both 6-OHDA and MPTP rodent models that fixed-speed treadmill exercise twice a day for 10 days post-lesioning resulted in recovery of behavioral deficits and attenuated the loss of striatal dopamine, DOPAC, homovanillic acid, dopamine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase, and vesicular monoamine transporter compared to those rodents who were not exposed to exercise. A prior study by Tillerson et al. also showed that forcing unilaterally 6-OHDA-lesioned mice to use their contralateral, impaired forelimb for the first 7 days post-intrastriatal 6-OHDA infusion could also attenuate both the resulting neurochemical as well as behavioral deficits. They postulated that this neuroprotection was due to the release of neurotrophic growth factors, and then provided evidence for glia cell-derived neurotrophic factor as a candidate mediator .

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The Role Of Levodopa In Pd Gait Progression

Although the precise mechanisms of non-dopaminergic gait control are unclear, emerging evidence suggests the importance of the cholinergic system . Cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus influence gait and postural control , and slower walking speed in PD is associated with increases in short-latency afferent inhibition and cholinergic denervation . Also, deep brain stimulation within the PPN may improve step velocity suggesting interventions that target brain regions not primarily dependent on dopamine may therefore help to mitigate gait impairment in PD. The benefits of drugs targeting the cholinergic system on PD gait are also being explored . Overall, interpretation of the relationship between dopamine and gait progression is limited as gait was not assessed off medication, nor were biomarkers of dopaminergic activity such as DAT imaging used. Nevertheless, our findings indicate that discrete gait characteristics progress irrespective of levodopa, suggesting the importance of non-dopaminergic mechanisms in gait impairment.

Theory Of Pd Progression: Braaks Hypothesis

Can you help slow the progression of Parkinson’s?

Researchers believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors cause Parkinsons. In 2003, Heiko Braak, MD, hypothesized that an unknown pathogen in the gut could be the cause of PD.

This was followed by a more extensive hypothesis, stating that PD starts in two places: the neurons of the nasal cavity and the neurons in the gut. This is now known as Braaks hypothesis. In this theory, the pathogen enters the body via the nose and/or gets swallowed and reaches the gut. The pathogenic products thus come into contact with the olfactory and/or enteric neurons, triggering the aggregation of an abnormal protein called -Synuclein. The aggregated -Synuclein then spreads toward the central nervous system , and eventually arriving in and causing the degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra.

This theory is supported by evidence that non-movement symptoms, such as a loss of sense of smell, sleep disorders and constipation, may appear several years ahead of movement symptoms. For this reason, researchers focus on these non-motor symptoms to detect PD as early as possible and to look for ways to stop its progression.

Page reviewed by Dr. Jun Yu, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

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Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

The main symptoms of Parkinsons disease are:

  • Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
  • Stiff and inflexible muscles.

A person with Parkinsons disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms. These include: depression and anxiety, balance problems, loss of sense of smell , problems sleeping , memory problems.

How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better And How Long Will It Take To Recover

The time it takes to recover and see the effects of Parkinsons disease treatments depends strongly on the type of treatments, the severity of the condition and other factors. Your healthcare provider is the best person to offer more information about what you can expect from treatment. The information they give you can consider any unique factors that might affect what you experience.

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What Is The New Breakthrough For Parkinson’s Disease

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the development of a nasal spray for Parkinson’s disease treatment. Researchers from the University of York have developed a new gel that can adhere to tissue inside the nose alongside the drug levodopa, helping deliver Parkinson’s disease treatment directly to the brain.

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Blocking Specific Form of a Brain Chemical Could Slow Brain Cell Loss, Researchers Find

Sept. 12, 2006 — Blocking a specific form of a brain chemical slows brain cell loss in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease, Texas researchers report.

In the animal model, the researchers found they could slow the death of affected brain cells by about half by blocking the chemical, called soluble TNF.

The finding offers a target for new drugs that could slow the progression of the debilitating and deadly disease. And it may apply to Alzheimer’s diseaseAlzheimer’s disease as well, suggest University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers Melissa K. McCoy, Malú G. Tansey, PhD, and colleagues.

The finding “may unveil opportunities for development of new … therapeutics to treat human neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease,” McCoy and colleagues say.

The researchers report their study in the Sept. 13 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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The Contribution Of Aging To Pd Gait Progression

Understanding how gait changes with normal aging is important as age-related changes cumulatively contribute to gait progression in people with PD alongside disease progression. Three characteristics changed in both PD and control cohorts over 6 years the change was therefore considered to be due primarily to aging mechanisms rather than disease progression. These changes met criteria 2.

Age-related change contributes to gait impairments observed in PD, suggesting that therapies addressing features of aging may be effective in reducing the burden of PD. It is important, therefore, to consider the mechanisms driving age-related gait change. Change may be due to atrophy and loss of muscle strength , physical inactivity , and development of age-related conditions, such as osteoarthritis causing increased pain and stiffness during movement . Age-related changes in the brain such as atrophy and white matter abnormalities also explain the slowing and increased variability of gait during aging . Increasing evidence implies that specific neural regions or networks underpin discrete gait characteristics , which could be specifically targeted to prevent discrete components of age-related gait decline. On this point, gait performance in PD is improved by exercise-based interventions aiming to increase muscle strength and activity speculatively these therapies may, at least partially, be targeting age-related changes which in turn positively impact PD gait.

Can Progression Of Parkinson Disease Be Slowed

Deep brain stimulation implanted in early-stage Parkinson disease was found to decrease the risk of disease progression. If findings are replicated in a larger trial recently approved by the FDA, DBS would be the first therapy proven to slow the progression of any element in PD.

Deep brain stimulation implanted in early stage Parkinson disease was found to decrease the risk of disease progression and lessen the need for multiple, simultaneous prescription drugs, according to study findings published in Neurology.

PD serves as the fastest growing neurological disorder worldwide, with as many as 60,000 US cases diagnosed each year. Innovations within the treatment of PD have led to better, noninvasive outcomes for common symptoms such as tremor and OFF periods. However, as the disease progresses, these therapies may not prove as effective and can contribute to significant economic burden for both patients and caregivers.

When it comes to managing PD, senior author David Charles, MD, professor and vice chair of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center , noted the relentless nature of the disease, which currently has no therapies approved to slow its progression.

After the 5-year follow-up, the study found that those with early-stage PD who received early DBS with ODT had a more than 5 times lesser odds of of experiencing worsening of their rest tremor compared with those given only ODT .

Reference

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What You Can Do

As of 2021, there is no definite cure for Parkinsons disease. There is also no definite known cause. Its likely due to a combination of an individuals susceptibility and environmental factors. Most cases of Parkinsons disease happen without a genetic link.

According to research published in 2012, only report having a family member with the disease. Many toxins are suspected and have been studied, but no single substance can be reliably linked to Parkinsons.

However, research is ongoing. Its estimated that

What Is Parkinsons Disease

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Parkinsons disease is a condition where a part of your brain deteriorates, causing more severe symptoms over time. While this condition is best known for how it affects muscle control, balance and movement, it can also cause a wide range of other effects on your senses, thinking ability, mental health and more.

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What Parkinsons Symptoms Can Improve From Exercise

Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination. Exercise such as treadmill training and biking have all been shown to benefit, along with Tai Chi and yoga.

Studies have shown that:

  • Engaging in any level of physical activity is beneficial for movement symptoms.
  • For people with mild to moderate PD, targeted exercises can address specific symptoms. For example: aerobic exercise improves fitness, walking exercises assist in gait, and resistance training strengthens muscles.
  • One study showed that twice-a-week tango dancing classes helped people with PD improve motor symptoms, balance and walking speed.
  • Exercise may also improve cognition, depression and fatigue. Research is ongoing in these areas.
  • People who exercise vigorously, for example running or cycling, have fewer changes in their brains caused by aging.
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    What Causes The Condition

    Although there are several recognized risk factors for Parkinsons disease, such as exposure to pesticides, for now, the only confirmed causes of Parkinsons disease are genetic. When Parkinsons disease isnt genetic, experts classify it as idiopathic . That means they dont know exactly why it happens.

    Many conditions look like Parkinson’s disease but are instead parkinsonism from a specific cause like some psychiatric medications.

    Familial Parkinsons disease

    Parkinsons disease can have a familial cause, which means you can inherit it from one or both of your parents. However, this only makes up about 10% of all cases.

    Experts have linked at least seven different genes to Parkinson’s disease. They’ve linked three of those to early-onset of the condition . Some genetic mutations also cause unique, distinguishing features.

    Idiopathic Parkinsons disease

    Experts believe idiopathic Parkinsons disease happens because of problems with how your body uses a protein called -synuclein . Proteins are chemical molecules that have a very specific shape. When some proteins dont have the correct shape a problem known as protein misfolding your body cant use them and can’t break them down.

    With nowhere to go, the proteins build up in various places or in certain cells . The buildup of these Lewy bodies causes toxic effects and cell damage.

    Induced Parkinsonism

    The possible causes are:

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