Medications For Parkinson’s Disease
After youve received a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on the diseases progression at the time you were diagnosed. Current pharmaceutical treatments include:
- Levodopa is a primary treatment for movement, tremors, and stiffness. Levodopa helps nerve cells make dopamine. This medication is also taken with carbidopa so that levodopa can reach the brain and stop or reduce side effects from the drug, such as vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure.
- Dopamine agonists mimic dopamine in the brain but are not as effective as levodopa in controlling symptoms like muscle movement and rigidity.
- Catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. They are taken with levodopa and slow the bodys ability to get rid of levodopa.
- MAO B inhibitors block monoamine oxidase B , a brain enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This allows dopamine to have longer-lasting effects.
- Anticholinergics aid in reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.
- Amantadine was first developed as an antiviral agent and can reduce involuntary movements caused by levodopa.
- Istradefylline is an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. It is used for people taking carbidopa and levodopa but who experience off symptoms.
These drugs can have a variety of side effects. Be sure to discuss your medications with your doctor so you understand how and when to take them, what side effects may occur, and when to report any concerning side effects.
What The Science Says
A study published in the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society suggests that patients in the early stages of Parkinsons disease who show low vitamin B12 experienced faster motor and cognitive decline. This suggests that vitamin supplements may help slow the progression of these symptoms.
In the study, researchers measured vitamin B12 and other B12-related factors in 680 participants with early, untreated Parkinsons Disease. They then followed up with 456 samples. The results showed that 13% of these participants had borderline low B12 levels, and 7% had elevated homocysteinean amino acid whose levels are inversely related to a vitamin deficiency. Elevated homocysteine may increase your risks for dementia, heart disease, and stroke without treatment.
Therefore, the study showed that low levels of B12 were common in those with early stages of Parkinsons Disease. Low B12 predicted greater worsening of mobility, while elevated homocysteine predicted greater cognitive decline.
So, if youre in need of a vitamin boost, a B12 supplement may help do the trick. As always, consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
The Myth Of The Recommended Daily Allowance
Most people mean well when they tackle vitamins and minerals. They look up the Recommended Daily Allowance and find a supplement that fills the gaps. The problem is that RDA is abbreviated. Instead of the implied RDA for optimal health its actually the minimal RDA for survival. As an example, the RDA for Vitamin C is designed to prevent scurvy. Research suggests that higher doses are extremely beneficial for everything from boosting the immune system to reducing risk of cancer. A better guideline to use is the tolerable upper limit, which, for Vitamin C, is 2,000 mg or 2 grams. It is a bit more complex because you do get vitamins and minerals from natural foods, and those tend to be more effectively absorbed than synthetic supplements.
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Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.
Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.
Foods containing iron
The following foods are good sources of iron:
- certain fortified foods
Low Levels Of Vitamin B12 May Worsen Walking Cognition In Parkinsons Patients
Supplement May Boost Balance, Memory, But Impact on Disease Trajectory Unknown
A study of patients with early Parkinsons disease found that groups with lower levels of vitamin B12 faced on average a more rapid acceleration of both motor and cognitive symptoms, which slowed in some cases after taking a daily multivitamin.
In the two-year study, blood levels of vitamin B12 were tested in 680 patients who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Researchers led by first author Chadwick Christine, MD, a neurologist with the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, also assessed patients gait and mobility, ability to perform activities of daily living, cognition and symptoms of depression.
Our findings demonstrate that low B12 levels are associated with greater walking and balance problems, possibly due to the known effect of B12 deficiency on the central and peripheral nervous systems, said Christine. Alternatively, low B12 may have a direct effect on the progression of Parkinsons disease, or it may be a marker of an unknown associated factor, perhaps correlating with another aspect of the disease or nutritional status.
The study was published March 6, 2018, in the early view version of the journal Movement Disorders.
Deficiencies of B12, which are more common in people with Parkinsons than the age-matched general population, are associated with weakness, tiredness, numbness, tingling and walking difficulties symptoms that are found in Parkinsons disease.
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Foods Containing Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Some studies suggest that dietary fat intake may increase the risk of Parkinsons.
Although having a higher intake of cholesterol can elevate a persons Parkinsons risk, having a higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk.
Therefore, a person with Parkinsons may wish to reduce their intake of cholesterol to help control the symptoms of the condition. They may also wish to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet.
However, further studies are required to explore the link between dietary fat and Parkinsons.
Low Vitamin B6 May Increase Parkinsons Disease Risk
Related tags:, Vitamin
The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, does not prove that low vitamin B6 levels are the cause of Parkinsons disease, but indicates that additional study should focus on whether increased levels of vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of developing the disease.
On the other hand, blood levels of vitamin B12, folate, and riboflavin were not linked to the incidence of Parkinsons disease.
Parkinson’s disease, named after Dr James Parkinson, the London doctor who initially identified it as a particular condition, occurs when nerve cells are lost in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra.
According to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, over two million Americans currently suffer from the disease. InfoPark, an EU funded information service, has estimated that by the year 2050 around four million people in Europe will have the disease.
This is not the first study to link vitamin B6 intake and the risk of the disease. In 2006 researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam reported that people who had daily vitamin B6 intakes of 230.9 micrograms or more had an associated risk of developing Parkinson’s disease 54 per cent lower than people who had average daily intakes lower than 185.1 micrograms. The study involved 5,289 people over the age of 55 .
The link between B vitamin intake and Parkinsons disease is related to homocysteine, an amino acid reported to potentially toxic to brain cells.
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How Vitamin B12 Can Help
“This is very compelling research suggesting that B12 plays an important role in this devastating disease,” Arielle Levitan M.D., co-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC, and author of The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health, tells Eat This, Not That!
“The fact that B12 likely plays a role in preventing PD is not surprising, given we know B12 is essential for optimal nerve function,” Levitan explains. “High plasma homocysteine levels are harmful to brain and nerve function and consuming B12 is known to lower these levels. It seems plausible that B12 helps our nerves work smoothly and transmit the brain’s messages to other parts of the body.”
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/5vitamin C And E And Parkinsons Disease
It has been recently found that vitamin C and vitamin E might be strongly linked with Parkisons diseases. As per a new study published in the journal Neurology, vitamin E and C intake are inversely associated with the risk of Parkinson. The researchers reached the conclusion after thoroughly studying the health records of more than 43,800 adults between 18 to 94 years from 1997 to 2016. They analysed their question based on the diet and deduced that diet plays a critical role when it comes to reducing the risk of neurological disorders like Parkisons disease. Adding foods rich in vitamin E and C might help to prevent the development of Parkinsons disease later in life.
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Table 3 Or For Parkinson’s Disease According To The Quartile Of Dietary Intake Of B Vitamins
* Values are median .
Adjusted for non-dietary factors, including sex , age , region , pack-years of smoking , education and BMI .
§ Adjusted for non-dietary factors and dietary factors , including cholesterol , dietary glycaemic index, vitamin E , vitamin C , -carotene , alcohol , caffeine and Fe .
Adjusted for non-dietary and dietary factors and intake of other B vitamins , including folate , vitamin B6 , vitamin B12 and riboflavin .
Conversely, low intake of vitamin B6 was associated with an increased risk of PD, independent of non-dietary confounding factors . Multivariate OR for PD in the first, second, third and fourth quartiles of dietary vitamin B6 were 1 , 0·64 , 0·75 and 0·58 , respectively . This association between vitamin B6 and PD was generally retained after further adjustment for dietary confounders and other B vitamins . Multivariate OR for PD in the first, second, third and fourth quartiles of dietary vitamin B6 were 1 , 0·56 , 0·69 and 0·48 , respectively . Intake of vitamin B12 and riboflavin was not associated with the risk of PD.
Vitamins For Parkinsons Disease
Pharmaceutical treatment used for treating Parkinsons disease aim at obtaining an optimum trade-off between achieving a good control over the symptoms and minimizing side-effects related to the use of these drugs.
The role of vitamin B6 in maintaining a healthy nervous system, through its ability to improve blood circulation to the brain and promote the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine has been well established by studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
A study has established a strong link between the deficiency of vitamin B6 and an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease. Although, vitamin B6 may not be very efficient in reversing the damage done to the brain cells, it can certainly help in the second stage of the treatment by helping patients cope with the side-effects associated with many drugs used to treat PD.
However, it has been recommended to limit your vitamin B6 intake to 100 grams per day, since an overdose can cause negative side effects like loss of sensation, balance and co-ordination. Hence, vitamin B6 can be more beneficial, if obtained through the consumption of foods like fish, chicken, turkey, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, nuts, beans, legumes, etc., rather than obtaining it through the intake of over-the-counter supplements, which have doses of vitamin B6.
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Which Foods Should I Consume
There is no single food that will have an impact on the progression of Parkinsons disease. Yet by taking simple steps, you can improve your daily well-being.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. If you have difficulty swallowing such large quantities or are concerned about having to go to the bathroom, split these intakes into smaller quantities. Hydrating fills your body with fluid, which reduces the chance of dropped pressure when you stand up.
Gradually add fibre-rich foods to your diet. Fibre combined with water will help relieve your constipation. Some examples of fibre-rich foods you can consume include cereal, whole grain bread, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Expose yourself to the sun, using sunscreen, and eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium is important for bone health and helps reduce your risk of fracture. Dairy products, enriched soy milk, canned fish with bones , cooked beans, almonds and broccoli are good sources of calcium.
Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium.Our body produces this vitamin when it is exposed to the sun. In Canada, all people over the age of 50 should take a vitamin D supplement during the winter. This vitamin is found in some fish and in vitamin D-fortified dairy products .
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have a protective effect on the brains dopaminergic neurons. Fatty fish , vegetable oils , grains and walnuts are good sources of omega-3.
- Fresh vegetables
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Vitamin B12 And Folate
Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant. It helps keep red blood cells and nerve cells healthy and helps produce DNA. Sources of vitamin B12 are typically red meat, chicken, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and bread, and nutritional yeast.
Researchers discovered that patients with early-onset Parkinsons disease had lower vitamin B12 levels, which reduced motor and cognitive functions. In some cases, taking a multivitamin that included vitamin B12 slowed the loss of those functions.
Folate is found in organ meats , yeast, and leafy green vegetables. Folate plays several roles in the body and brain.
Both B12 and folate are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are seen in various cognitive disorders. Studies show that Parkinsons disease patients taking levodopa for the condition are also more likely to have elevated homocysteine.
In one meta-data analysis, researchers investigated the correlations between cognitive function , homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12 levels in patients with Parkinsons disease. They discovered that patients with cognitive dysfunction had high levels of homocysteine and lower levels of folate and vitamin B12.
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Vitamins Food Supplements And Special Diets
Eating a well-balanced diet will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals, and can help to ease certain symptoms of Parkinsons. Here, we also provide information on special diets for Parkinsons, and managing low blood pressure through your diet.
Eating a well-balanced diet will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
For many vitamin and mineral supplements, theres no clear scientific evidence they have any health benefits .
So, if you feel you need more of a particular vitamin or mineral, its better to try to eat more of the foods containing it, rather than buy expensive supplements.
You also need to be aware that some vitamins, when taken in large doses, can have side effects.
Some supplements, such as vitamin B6 and iron, may also affect the absorption of your Parkinsons medication.
Before purchasing any over the counter mineral and vitamin supplements from chemists or health food shops, consult your GP, specialist, Parkinsons nurse or registered dietitian for advice.
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Parkinsons Disease And Movement Disorders Center
Our center provides compassionate and timely treatment to patients with movement disorders, such as dystonia, ataxia, essential tremor and similar conditions. But our mission goes beyond patient care excellence. By offering educational events and support groups, we empower patients and caregivers to become better partners in their health.
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Table 2 Sample Characteristics For The Lowest And Highest Quartiles Of Dietary Intake Of B Vitamins
* For categorical variables, the 2 test was used for continuous variables, a linear trend test was used.
Table 3 shows crude and multivariate OR for PD according to the quartile of dietary intake of B vitamins. After adjustment for potential non-dietary confounding factors , dietary intake of folate was inversely associated with the risk of PD. Multivariate OR for PD in the first, second, third and fourth quartiles of dietary folate were 1 , 0·81 , 0·65 and 0·50 , respectively . However, the association between folate and PD disappeared after further adjustment for potential dietary confounding factors and other B vitamins .
Findings Could Help Inform Development Of New Lrrk2
The basic micronutrient vitamin B12 inhibits the activity of a protein implicated in LRRK2-associated Parkinsons disease the most common inherited form of the condition, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published March 11 in the journal Cell Research. The study findings suggest that vitamin B12 may hold promise as a PD therapy.
Parkinsons disease, the most common chronic neurodegenerative disorder, affects one percent of the world population over the age of 60 by disabling the brain and disrupting both motor and cognitive function. Missense mutations in the gene leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 are the greatest known genetic contributor to PD and are linked to the incidence of both familial and sporadic forms of the disease. These mutations lead to a hyperactive form of the protein kinase that promotes neurotoxicity. Over time, increases in LRRK2 kinase activity lead to a reduction in the activity of dopamine in the brain, which manifests in the muscle rigidity and tremors that are hallmark symptoms of PD. Over the past several years, drug companies have developed LRRK2 kinase inhibitors that target the adenosine triphosphate binding pocketessentially, the energy storein the biological system of LRRK2, which is required for LRRK2 signaling.
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