September 2017: Mayo Clinic weighs in on possible causes of PD
While the exact cause in unknown, there are four possible theories that may cause Parkinson’s;
- Genetics: There are certain genes, that when they become mutated, cause Parkinson’s. However, these mutated genes are very rare, except when Parkinson’s runs in the family. Additionally, there are some gene variations which seem to slightly increase the risk.
- Environment: There are some environment factors and toxins which may trigger the disease but the increased risk is very small.
- Presence of Lewy bodies in the brain: Lewy bodies are proteins found in brain cells which are biomarkers of the disease.
- Alph-synuclein in Lewy Bodies: Scientists are focusing on studying alpha-syncuclien proteins that from clumps in the brain cells and thought to contribute to the disease.
September 2017: Anxiety in Parkinson’s
According to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, chemical changes occurring in the brain can trigger mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Often and extremely low level of the chemical GABA is linked to the onset of these disorders. In this case medication can help rebalance the brains chemicals and reduce anxiety.
There may also be psychological factors that stem from dealing with a chronic disease as well as possible anxiety attacks when medications wear off or are no longer working.
July 17, 2017- Lifestyle changes that can improve Quality of Life for Parkinson’s Patients
Exercise is one of the most important things a person with PD can do to improve their life.
Diet is also important. Eating a healthy, balance diet and drinking lots of water will help avoid the gastrointestinal issues often associated with Parkinson’s and will help medication work to its full potential.
Getting regular quality sleep where you awake refreshed can help the brain produce dopamine. Nap during the day if you feel fatigued to restore energy.
July 7, 2017- World’s First Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Parkinson’s
Isreali researcher Abd-Elhadi has developed a minimally invasive, highly sensitive kit to test for Parkinson’s called “lipid ELISA” ( ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) PD is associated with the protein alpha-synuclin, the pathological form of which appears first in peripheral nerves usually in the digestive system. Patients in early stages of PD have digestive system problems and swallowing even before the disease pathology reaches the brain. Alpha-synuclin binds to fat molecules, called lipids on cell membranes. Using the lips to which the alpha-synuclin binds best, she developed the test. Earlier diagnosis can help by seeing how a given drug affects the progress of the disease.
July 7, 2017: Fighting off Parkinson’s, One punch at a time
Twice weekly boxing classes have found improvements in balance, gait speed and gait endurance along with helping to overcome symptoms of hypokinesia (small movements) by giving patients a defined, meaningful task like hitting a target. The therapists at Northeast Rehab in NH believe that the exercise increases dopamine synthesis and release which in turn controls movement function. In a study by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s patients who participate in rigorous activity like boxing are able to use and create dopamine more easily than patients who do not exercise. This means that exercising patients are able to prevent their symptoms for getting worse and even mitigating the effects.
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