Parkinsons Disease Is A Genetic Disease
Unfortunately, there is no known definitive cause for Parkinsons disease. The Parkinsons Foundation tells us that, researchers believe there are both genetic and external factors that lead to the development of PD, but there is not a single definitive genetic mutation that leads to all cases of PD. When we see people suffer from terrible diseases we want to place blame, point our finger at something that is causing the pain. Researchers are working to find that one thing to blame but havent found it yet.
We know that Parkinsons disease can run in some families, but approximately 90-percent of diagnoses are in people without a family history, reports the Parkinsons Foundation. If you have a family history of Parkinsons disease, let your doctor know and learn as much as you can about the signs and symptoms of the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve your quality of life.
What Area Of Parkinsons Research Are You Are Excited To Find Out More About
Particularly in this COVID world that were living in, one of the things that is really exciting is were increasingly seeing the role that technology can play in helping to track the disease experience of patients.
In this unprecedented year, weve seen such a such an emphasis on sheltering in place, particularly among our vulnerable populations. We have an online clinical study called Fox Insight and weve really seen an increase in registrations because it shows the potential of being able to participate in research from the safety of your own home, and still contribute to sharing knowledge about the disease.
In the US, weve also seen the embrace of telemedicine as a way to continue to think about managing care but not necessarily having to go into a doctors office. I think all of these experiences, coupled with ongoing advances in sensor technologies or smartphone apps, really show us the way technology can ease the burden, both of managing the disease and participating in research. I think that might be a little bit of a silver lining in a world where there arent very many silver linings at the moment.
Everyone Experiences The Same Symptoms
One common myth is that everyone with Parkinsons disease will have the same symptoms and experiences. Yet, like with every disease and condition, each person experiences symptoms differently. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Disease tells us that, for some people, tremor is the first symptom they experience, while others never see tremor or dont for many years.
Symptom severity and disease progression vary from person to person. Some people will have symptoms like slow movement and rigid muscles while others will not. If you have been diagnosed, your doctor should give you a sense of possible symptoms and how they can be best treated.
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What Is Fetal Cell Transplantation
Fetal cell transplantation is a procedure in which fetal cells are implanted into the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease to replace the dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra. Although promising, this area of research is one of the most controversial. Some studies have found that fetal cell transplantation caused an increase in severe involuntary movements due to too much dopamine in the brain. There are also moral and ethical objections to the use of fetal cell implants. As a result, other methods of treatment are being explored.
The Investigation In Mice
In their recent study paper, the scientists refer to research suggesting that neurotrophic factors molecules that help neurons survive and thrive could, in theory, restore the function of neurons that produce dopamine. However, the clinical benefit of these factors had yet to be proven.
The team focused on bone morphogenetic proteins 5 and 7 . They had previously shown that BMP5/7 has an important role in dopamine-producing neurons in mice.
In the latest study, the scientists wanted to see whether BMP5/7 could protect the neurons of mice against the damaging effects of misfolded alpha-synuclein proteins.
To do this, they injected one group of mice with a viral vector that caused misfolded alpha-synuclein proteins to form in their brains. They used other mice as a control group. The scientists then injected the mice with the BMP5/7 protein.
Parkinson’s ‘cure’ Gave Me Back My Life
A year ago, Roger Nelson could barely walk, had lost his sense of smell and couldn’t even smile.
Parkinson’s disease had ravaged his nervous system to the extent that, at the age of 50, the former marathon runner could no longer deal a pack of cards to play his favourite game, bridge.
Now, thanks to pioneering surgery which will give hope to millions of sufferers, the former marketing manager says he can enjoy life in a way he had not been able to for years.
Doctors at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol implanted two pumps into Mr Nelson’s abdomen which deliver a drug directly into the damaged part of his brain.
This has brought his dystonia – the involuntary writhing action which afflicts Parkinson’s sufferers – under control.
He can play cards, walk . . . and laugh again.
‘It has had a positive change in very many ways,’ Mr Nelson, who lives in Bristol, said yesterday.
‘It has been progressive little changes. One of the things that people with Parkinson’s experience is a lost sense of smell.
‘I had the operation on the Friday and by Sunday lunchtime I could smell. It was amazing.’
Four other patients who received the treatment have also shown a marked improvement, the doctors say.
They hope the procedure is a key to reversing the onset of the disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system which affects 120,000 in the UK and millions worldwide, including Muhammad Ali and Michael J Fox.
The drug, glial- derived neurotrophic growth factor , encourages brain cell growth.
Important Supplements That May Help
Once you;stop putting toxins;into your body and eat clean, the trillions of cells in your body will be;able to start living normally again. Eating the right foods and taking the necessary supplements will now begin to boost your brain health and healing.
Here are some supplements;that will speed up the reversal of PD symptoms:
- Magnesium:; First and foremost on the list is magnesium. Low intake of this mineral magnesium, enables;the deposition of excess calcium, heavy metals and toxins in the brain that leads to Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases. When there is adequate presence;of magnesium, heavy metals cannot be absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium plays a vital role in protecting neurons from the lethal effects of aluminium and mercury poisoning.
- B vitamins:; A deficiency in;vitamins B9 and B12 can cause brain problems that will initially manifest as depression, anxiety or even psychosis. The other B vitamins are useful for protecting against age-related brain wasting, and possibly prevent memory loss.
- Glutathione: ;Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants;and is powerful in neutralizing free radicals damage and greatly reduce oxidative stress that destroy neurons.
- Grape seed extract: ;Has;super antioxidant effect that reduces DNA fragmentation in the brain. It is able to cross into the brain to protect brain cells from free radical damage.
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The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Some symptoms of PD are difficult to detect even by the specialists, while others are obvious to even untrained eyes. Parkinsons symptoms are different for every patient. Like any other chronic diseases, the degree that the disease worsen;differs in;every individual depending on their genes, diet, lifestyle and their exposure to environmental toxins.
Some of the common symptoms of Parkinsons:
- Low blood pressure, feeling dizzy or fainting
As a result of this disease that;is a deterioration of brain health and the central nervous system, if left untreated, some sufferers may also experience other brain issues such as Alzheimers Disease, dementia, severe depression and anxieties that may result in suicidal thoughts.
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.
Prevalence And Costs Of Parkinsons Disease
More than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinsons disease, and nearly one million people in the United States will be afflicted with the condition by 2020, according to the Parkinsons Foundation. Thats more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrigs disease. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinsons disease than women.
In the study that warned of a possible pandemic, scientists have tracked a troubling trend in the prevalence of Parkinsons. In 1855, 40 years after the condition was first described by medical science, only 22 people out of 15 million in England and Wales died of Parkinsons. In 2014, roughly 5,000 to 10,000 individuals out of 65 million in the UK died from the disease. As many as 17 million people or more may be stricken with Parkinsons by 2040. The main cause of Parkinsons disease? Getting older, researchers concluded, which makes you wonder about all of those regenerative medicine cures for living longer.
The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinsons, including treatment, social security payments and lost income, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone. Medications cost an average of $2,500 a year and therapeutic surgery can cost up to $100,000 per person.
Advanced And Future Treatments For Parkinsons
While theres no cure for Parkinsons disease, recent research has led to improved treatments.
Scientists and doctors are working together to find a treatment or prevention technique. Research is also seeking to understand who is more likely to develop the disease. In addition, scientists are studying the genetic and environmental factors that increase the chance of a diagnosis.
Here are the latest treatments for this progressive neurological disorder.
In 2002, the FDA approved deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinsons disease. But advances in DBS were limited because only one company was approved to make the device used for the treatment.
In June 2015, the FDA approved the
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Its Not Just One Condition There Are Multiple Types Of Parkinsons
Like cancer, we are starting to understand the importance of subtyping Parkinsons and developing tailored treatments that will be more successful than a one size fits all approach. Better understanding is coming from large scale studies that follow vast numbers of people with the condition over time. And we are starting to see how the subtypes of Parkinsons have different symptoms, progression rates and even different responses to medication.
To effectively treat Parkinsons, we probably need to tackle each of these subtypes differently, providing the right treatments and support to suit the individual and their form of Parkinsons. And this starts with understanding more about how we classify and identify these different types.
You can read more about research into personalised treatments in our recent blog Precision medicine for Parkinsons, how close are we?
Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #1 Cannabis/medicalmarijuana:
Cannabis, aka medical marijuana, is an incredibletreatment for Parkinsons disease. You can have a Parkinsons patient shakingviolently and uncontrollably, and yet within 30-40 minutes of self-administering with some cannabis, their symptoms will almost completely disappear. Watch this short 2minute video from Parkinsons sufferer, Ian Frizell, who shows you what he waslike before self-medicating with cannabis and then again after. The change is truly astonishing!;
Taylor French is another Parkinsons patient thatundergoes a remarkable transformation once he ingests what he calls nutritional vegetable extract . This guy has an advanced form ofParkinsons and is normally confined to a wheelchair with limited use of hisbody due to stiff and rigid muscles . But after ingestingsome cannabis hes able to walk, and incredibly, in his video he even getsinto his car and drives off down the road!
You can view it here
Elyse Del Francia also tells the story of her Parkinsonssuffering husband, and the time she decided to smother his morning pancakes withsome canabutter. She said
Within45 minutes of eating a pancake with marijuana on it, he stopped shaking. Thatwas my lightbulb moment. Thats when I knew that I was onto something thatwould relieve his pain and suffering, because its horrible, horrible, to haveParkinsons Disease and not have any relief. I feel that this is something thathelps so many people in so many ways with pain and suffering.;5
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Michael J Fox Embraced Realistic Optimism
In 2020, Michael J. Fox rebuilt his optimism, but a bit differently this time. The source of it came not from throwing himself into his work or trying to cure Parkinson’s disease in 10 years as he’d originally set out to do. Instead, it came down to acceptance. “I think the first thing you have to do is accept if you’re faced with a difficult situation,” Fox told USA Today, adding, “And once I do that, that doesn’t mean I can’t ever change it. I can change it, but I have to accept it for what it is first, before I can change it.” Acceptance isn’t always easy, though. As Fox told The Guardian, “I used to walk fast, but every step now is a frigging math problem, so I take it slow.” He accepted that a cure in his lifetime was not likely going to happen, but “that’s just the way it goes.”;
Breaking his arm had taught him an important lesson: You must be realistic, as well as optimistic, and that being grateful for the good in your life “is what makes optimism sustainable,” he told USA Today. With the slogan “Strength in optimism. Hope in progress,” the American Parkinson Disease Association;echoes Fox’s newfound approach to practical positivity. And even with the realization that a cure is not plausible in the near future, Fox’s own foundation;states, “Even in the face of tremendous challenges, our promise to push Parkinson’s research forward remains steadfast.”
Everyone With Parkinsons Disease Has Tremors
Tremors are one of the most identifiable Parkinsons disease symptoms but not everyone with the disease will experience a tremor. The progression and clinical symptoms of Parkinsons disease are unique to every individual. Tremors can also be caused by other conditions, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, or traumatic brain injury, according to Parkinsonsdisease.net.
A side effect of some Parkinsons medications is dyskinesia, another term for involuntary movements. This may initially look like a tremor but is a different movement. Dyskinesia can happen if your dose is too high. Let your doctors know if this is happening and they will adjust your medication timing or dose.
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What Genes Are Linked To Parkinsons Disease
Several genes have been definitively linked to PD:
- SNCA. This gene, which makes the protein alpha-synuclein, was the first gene identified to be associated with Parkinsons. Research findings by the National Institutes of Health and other institutions prompted studies of the role of alpha-synuclein in PD, which led to the discovery that Lewy bodies seen in all cases of PD contain clumps of alpha-synuclein. This discovery revealed the link between hereditary and sporadic forms of the disease.
- LRRK2. Mutations in LRRK2 were originally identified in several English and Basque families as a cause of a late-onset PD. Subsequent studies have identified mutations of this gene in other families with PD as well as in a small percentage of people with apparently sporadic PD. LRRK2 mutations are a major cause of PD in North Africa and the Middle East.
- DJ-1. This gene normally helps regulate gene activity and protect cells from oxidative stress and can cause rare, early forms of PD.
- PRKN . The parkin gene is translated into a protein that normally helps cells break down and recycle proteins.
- PINK1. PINK1 codes for a protein active in mitochondria. Mutations in this gene appear to increase susceptibility to cellular stress. PINK1 has been linked to early forms of PD.
- GBA . Mutations in GBA cause Gaucher disease , but different changes in this gene are associated with an increased risk for Parkinsons disease as well.
How Would A Parkinsons Vaccine Work
Parkinsons is associated with the accumulation of Lewy bodies tiny deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. Preventing the build-up of Lewy bodies and removing existing clumps could be an effective way to treat the disease.
Current approaches to Parkinsons vaccines involve the introduction of a molecule that induces the body to produce its own antibodies against a-syn, resulting in active immunity. It is hoped the antibodies will cling to a-syn build-ups and help to break them down.
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What Is The Prognosis
The average life expectancy of a person with PD is generally the same as for people who do not have the disease. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for people with PD. However, in the late stages, PD may no longer respond to medications and can become associated with serious complications such as choking, pneumonia, and falls.
PD is a slowly progressive disorder. It is not possible to predict what course the disease will take for an individual person.
One commonly used scale neurologists use for describing how the symptoms of PD have progressed in a patient is the Hoehn and Yahr scale.