Tag Archives: causes

Fluorescent_uric_acid

Low level of an antioxidant in the blood is a cause of Parkinson’s disease

Evidence that low levels of blood urate (an antioxidant) are a cause of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Description: “Higher serum urate concentrations predict more favorable prognosis in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to test the causality of this association using a Mendelian randomization approach.
  • Source Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25257975

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Can Parkinson's Patients Give Blood?

Can Parkinson’s Patients Give Blood?

This post is part II of a two part series on the question of Parkinson’s disease (PD) transmission. Specifically, we will review the issue of blood donation from PD patients. We will present the evidence, sample the prevailing attitudes and policies, and then make our recommendations.
Part I of this series discussed the similarities between the possible cell to cell progression of Parkinson’s pathogenesis and contagious proteinaceous pathogens called prions. Despite these similarities, there is no evidence of person to person transmission of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is not contagious.

However, the next form of transmission we need to consider is transmission through blood and tissue. …read more

Is Parkinson's Disease Contagious?

Is Parkinson’s Disease Contagious?

This post is part I of a two part series on the question of PD transmission.
OK now don’t panic! The purpose of this post is not to scare anyone. Parkinson’s is not a virus that spreads from person to person. At least we haven’t observed anything like that in the hundreds of years that medicine has known about the disease. That said, with a 20 plus year incubation period it’s possible that some low level of transmission could be missed. But it is very unlikely.
So why the question? Why ask if Parkinson’s is contagious?

…read more

genetic or environmental?

Is Parkinson’s disease genetic or environmental?

Since I’ve started working on this project, many people have asked me if Parkinson’s disease is “genetic or environmental”. One of the most frequently cited studies on this question looked at twin brothers: identical twins versus fraternal twins. If one twin got Parkinson’s, would the other twin get it as well?

If Parkinson’s was genetic, we would expect both identical twin brothers to get Parkinson’s more often than both fraternal twin brothers. Why is this? Because identical twins share much more genetic information than fraternal twins, who share as much genetic information as regular brothers. More genetic information means more likelihood that both identical twins will share traits, including disease risk, that are caused or influenced by heritable factors.

So what did the study find? …read more

Zinc and Parkinson's

Do diets low in zinc cause Parkinson’s?

Do diets low in zinc cause Parkinson’s? If people are anything like yeast they may. Scientists found a protein clumping phenomenon in yeast that is similar to what is seen in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This particular clumping is caused by a deficiency in zinc. So scientists are now studying the association of zinc with Parkinson’s disease in humans. Vegetarians with diets rich in whole grains are often deficient in zinc.

  • Description: “Scientists have made a discovery that, if replicated in humans, suggests a shortage of zinc may contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to defective proteins clumping together in the brain.
  • Source Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930200039.htm

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

CoQ10 Powder

Should I take CoQ10 for my Parkinson’s?

Since I’ve started working on this project to slow Parkinson’s, quite a number of people have asked me about a dietary supplement called Coenzyme Q10, commonly abbreviated CoQ10. It is a natural substance in your body that is critical to mitochondria, the power generators in your cells.

CoQ10 has gained interest from the alternative health community because it also functions as a potent antioxidant for both lipids and proteins, and can also regenerate other antioxidants. Also, oral supplementation of CoQ10 is effective at replenishing the body’s concentrations of CoQ10. And since many disease conditions deplete CoQ10, an obvious way to help fight those diseases is to supplement with CoQ10.

Indeed, many studies have generated evidence suggesting that CoQ10 is beneficial for a number of conditions. It also may correct a potentially dangerous side effect of statin use, which reduces serum levels of CoQ10 dramatically. The desire for supplementation has increased steadily over the past 10 years, and prices have dropped.

Regarding Parkinson’s disease, there was the feeling that CoQ10 could be helpful because oxidative stress is involved in Parkinson’s disease, either as a cause or an effect, depending on the Parkinson’s subtype. Parkinson’s also involves the inability to properly dispose of old or damaged mitochondria (mitophagy), so the desire to keep mitochondria healthy was reasonable.

Like other diseases, patients with Parkinson’s disease are also deficient in CoQ10. Additionally, CoQ10 appears to be effective at protecting dopaminergic neurons and other brain tissue from certain toxins and other insults (neuroprotection). I suspect that CoQ10 supplementation may be useful as part of a prevention strategy for those who are at greater risk of developing Parkinson’s. Supplementation also appears to be useful for certain patients that experience headaches and migraines.

However, increasing mitochondrial longevity through CoQ10 supplementation might have value for only certain subtypes of Parkinson’s patients . For those patients, one would at least want to pair CoQ10 with a mitophagy inducer. Our algorithms are busy examining the data, looking for existing supplements and compounds that should be effective as mitophagy inducers.

Indeed, a large clinical trial of CoQ10 in Parkinson’s patients was stopped in 2011 because it failed to show any particular benefit. This was disappointing because a number of animal models showed significant benefit of CoQ10. It is important to note that these were general Parkinson’s patients, not segmented based on subtype. I would be curious if certain subtypes would see more benefit, but I’m skeptical that CoQ10 supplementation alone would slow Parkinson’s neurodegeneration significantly.

The experiment on humans was certainly worth doing, however Parkinson’s is not a single issue that can be slowed with a single supplement. By the time somebody is diagnosed, there is an avalanche of multiple issues, caused by problems in multiple pathways, requiring multiple directions of attack. Multiple supplements are required to attack Parkinson’s from these directions. Adding to this complexity is that Parkinson’s is made up of multiple subtypes, each with a different origin. The mission of this project is to determine exactly what combination of supplements, and in what quantities, would benefit the most patients.

Jeff Coxx

Parkinson’s disease may be a failure to see old mitochondria as invading bacteria

Early onset Parkinson’s subtype may be a failure to see old mitochondria as invading bacteria. It turns out that the same PARK2 mutation that causes some early onset Parkinson’s cases, also leads to greater sensitivity to intracellular bacterial infections. Interestingly, mitochondria were once intracellular bacteria, a billion years ago.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Phosphorylation

How protein phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease went from culprit to potential cure.

From culprit to cure. How protein phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease went from “scene of the crime” suspect to neuroprotective mechanism and potential treatment.

In the process, scientists learned an important lesson: “The lesson we learned from this research is that everything you find at the scene of a crime is not necessarily involved in the crime. By remaining fixated on that assumption, we may lose sight of the bigger picture.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Drawing by Charcot of a Parkinson's disease patient in Morocco, 1889

Does inflammation cause depression, fatigue, cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s?

Neuroinflammation is associated with severe depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s sufferers. The question seems to be, is it causal? Keep an eye on further news on the topic of inflammation in Parkinson’s disease research.

  • Description: “Grand Rapids, Mich. (Aug. 26, 2013) – A researcher from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Van Andel Institute (VAI) has, together with Swedish researchers shown, for the first time, significant associations between high levels of pro-inflammatory markers in cerebrospinal fluid…
  • Source Link: http://www.vai.org/NewsRoom/press-release-8-26-13.aspx

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News

Big Red Brain

Anxiety causes Parkinson’s disease?

Probably not. But it seems that anxiety does indeed predict Parkinson’s Disease. Will that observation make us even more anxious? As to whether or not the relationship is causal or just an association, researchers say, “A possible explanation for the association between anxiety and PD is that unrecognized symptoms of PD may lead to anxiety.” That makes sense.

posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News