Well, 12 months ago my sister in law Chris was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and she recently came to Australia to visit family. As a Naturopath and alternative health care practitioner I’m always looking into what causes various health conditions, and is there anything that can be done to help slow it down and what nutritional deficiencies could be involved. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition which affects the neurons that produce dopamine and therefor it results a loss brain cells which produce dopamine.
Why is dopamine so important ? Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, neurotransmitters are needed to send signals from one nerve cell to another. Dopamine is released by the brain and has many functions in the body. It is needed for movement, motor control, learning, mood, sleep, memory, it is also a messenger, it affects our attention, our cognition, our behaviour as well as enabling us to experience pleasurable rewards. It also affects our bowel function, our insulin and blood pressure. So as you can see, it affects many areas of the body.
What we do know is that genetics plays an enormous role here, and that an amino acid in our blood called Homocysteine builds up to high levels. What causes high levels of Homocysteine you may ask, well as I mentioned earlier genetics, and diet plays a role here as well. Genetics can affect the balance of our vitamins and minerals in the body particularly B vitamins due to conversion issues it causes, as well as a diet and thus the end result is that Homocysteine does not get broken down sufficiently.
High or low levels of Homocysteine causes issues in the body. High levels are associated with increased risk of Heart disease, Heart attacks, Stroke and Atherosclerosis. Homocysteine is also very toxic to the brain causing oxidative stress, DNA damage and overall cell damage, and plays a significant role is the progression of Dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson's Disease due to the neuro-degeneration that occurs.
So while Chris was in Australia we decided to do some blood tests, make some dietary changes and we addressed the nutritional deficiencies, and thought, we have nothing to lose.
To say we were both amazed at the results is an understatement. What we have been able to achieve in only 3 weeks after starting treatment is just fantastic and we cannot wait to see how far we can go over time. Since starting treatment Chris has not had any anxiety or panic attacks, her tremors have substantially decreased, her bowel movements have increased, she feels her balance has improved and her mood has improved so much that she is now smiling and laughing again and is slowly reducing her antidepressant medication. Even if this is all we end up achieving it’s given her, her quality of life back, she is now looking forward to each day and is enjoying life again.
I’d like to emphasise here that Chris is the first Parkinson’s client that I have been working with so I don’t know if others will get the same improvements.
Chris had only been diagnosed 12 months ago so I don’t know if these improvements will be seen in other newly diagnosed individuals or if improvements will be seen in others that have lived with Parkinson’s for more than 12 months. However if you would like to give it a try, I would love to work with you.