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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease

Description

Parkinson's disease, one of the most common crippling diseases in the United States, is the gradual deterioration of specific nerve centers in the brain. This deterioration alters the chemical balance of acetylcholine and dopamine, substances essential for the proper transmission of nerve signals within this part of the nervous system. Lack of control of physical movements is the characteristic symptom of Parkinson's disease, and the ultimate result.

In the more severe cases, the person will become unable to walk smoothly due to an inability to swing the arms, write legibly, or move the mouth and tongue so as to speak clearly. There will also be increased difficulty in changing from one position to another, or in initiating new movements.

Parkinson's disease affects slightly more men than women at a ratio of three to two. Approximately one in every one hundred persons over age 60 will contract this condition. There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease. Treatment is towards the physical symptoms as well as helping the person to cope with the problem mentally. This will include emotional support, practical changes in the house to facilitate movement, such as handrails, banisters, regular exercise, and drug therapy.

Causes

Primary Factors
The primary cause of Parkinson's disease is the gradual deterioration of certain nerve centers in the brain, especially those centers involved in the control of semiautomatic movements.

Predisposing Factors
Carbon monoxide poisoning, high levels of noxious body chemicals, brain infections such as encephalitis, and high doses of certain drugs such as those used to treat schizophrenia.

Signs & Symptoms

The primary symptom of Parkinson's disease is an involuntary tremor, an involuntary shaking of the hands, head, or both. This may be accompanied by a continuous rubbing together of the thumb and forefinger. The tremors are most severe when the affected part of the body is not in use. The tremor is reduced once the body part is moved. There is usually no pain or other sensation but only a decreased ability to move. Depression may result because, while the body is disabled, the mind remains intact.

Frequent fallingExcessive salivation
Abdominal crampsProgressive muscle rigidity
AgingMask-like facial expression
DysarthriaDysphagia
Completely closed eyelidsDecreased blinking frequency
Stooped postureLoss of involuntary gesturing
Senile dementiaFamilial predisposition
Increased mental dependencyFear
Decreased assertivenessIncreased passivity
Indecisiveness


Deterioration in memory or thought processes
Inability or difficulty performing simple tasks


Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Nutrients for Brain Support &
        Essential Fatty Acids


---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

Adult
Choline100 - 500 mg
CoQ10*
EPO*
Fish oils*
Folic acid400 - 2,000 mcg
Ginkgo biloba100 - 160 mg
Inositol100 - 500 mg
Melatonin*
NADH2.5 - 5 mg
Tyrosine500 - 1,000 mg
Vitamin A*
Vitamin B-12100 - 1,000 mcg
VItamin C*
Vitamin E*
Wheat germ*



* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

With Parkinson's disease, muscle rigidity results in difficulty chewing and eliminating. Therefore the Mechanical Soft Diet is recommended.

Chronic administration of the drug Levodopa may result in vitamin B-6 deficiency, especially in individuals with high requirements for the vitamin due to diabetes, alcoholism or malnutrition. Long-term Levodopa treatment may also increase the individual's need for folacin and vitamin B-12. Supplementation with these vitamin B-Complex vitamins may be necessary.

Administration of levodopa with food is a standard recommendation to reduce problems with nausea and vomiting, however, the presence of protein inhibits drug absorption in two ways: it may delay stomach emptying, thereby providing the gastric mucosa with additional time to inactivate the drug; and high protein meals provide large neutral amino acids (LNAA) which compete with levodopa for blood transport. Thus, there is reduced drug efficacy and a decline in the clinical response. A special diet may be recommended. The most important thing may not be the total amount of protein but the amount consumed at any one meal!

Paradoxically, patients receiving levodopa have significantly lower plasma levels on a reduced protein diet! (Bianchine, 1976)

Excess amounts of manganese accumulate in the liver and central nervous system. Parkinson's disease-like symptoms may result from toxicity due to self-prescribed megadoses.

Homeopathic Remedy

1.* Mercurius Vivus 1M
2.* Stramonium - 15C long term
3. Argentum nitricum tinct. - 30C
4. Agaricus muscarius - 30C

Other remedies, sometimes mentioned include:

Antimonium tartaricum tinct.
Hyoscyamus niger
Kali bromatum
Manganum aceticum
Plumbum metallicum
Tarantula hispanola

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Herbal Approaches

----------
Herbs
-----------


Ginkgo biloba
Ginseng
Hawthorn

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Discussion:

Ginkgo biloba is of notable benefit to brain circulation. Hawthorn may be required to boost the entire circulatory system.

Ginseng may provide a tonic boost.

Several beans (Fava, mucuna pruriens) are noted as having dopamine content.

However, Kava and dopamine are antagonistic, as is Vitex (Agnus Castus). [Jarry, 1994]

In spite of the incidence of depression, St. John's Wort does not seem to be an option. [Muller, 1997]

Constipation and depression are other frequent comorbidities, although some common herbal therapies may interfere with other therapeutic goals.

Care must also be taken to avoid herbs with cholinergic actions, which may affect drug therapy. Herbal ingredients with anticholinergic activity potentiate drug therapy and may increase the risk of side effects; while herbal ingredients, which are cholinergic, may be antagonistic.

Ambrette
Anise
Arnica
Catnip
Chamomile
Comfrey
Cornsilk
Dandelion
Gentian
Ginger
Ginseng
Guar
Hawthorn
Hops
Licorice Root
Lobelia
Maidenhair Fern
Mullein
Peppermint
Psyllium
Red Raspberry Plant
Senega Snakeroot
Shepherd's Purse
Shizandra
Slippery Elm
Sweetflag
Thorn Apple

Anticholinergics may be imperfectly absorbed if: ambrette, catnip, gentian, ginger, guar, hops, maidenhair fern, mullein, peppermint, red raspberry plant, senega snakeroot or slippery elm is being used on a daily basis.

Anise, arnica, chamomile, comfrey, cornsilk, dandelion, ginseng, hawthorn, hops, licorice root, psyllium, shepherd's purse, shizandra and sweetflag contain cholinergic substances.

Thorn apple is anticholinergic.

Hops antagonize the spasmogenic effects of acetylcholine.

The lobeline in lobelia increases acetylcholine response and may therefore potentiate the effects of cholinergic drugs.

References:

Jarry, H et al., In vitro prolactin but not LH and FSH release is inhibited by compounds in extracts of Agnus castus: direct evidence for a dopaminergic principle by the dopamine receptor assay. Exp. Clin. Endocrinol. 1994, 102:6, 448-454.

Muller JL & Clauson, KA: Top herbal products encountered in drug information requests (Part 2). Drug Benefit Trends, 1998, 10(6):21-23, 31. [St John's Wort and Saw Palmetto]

Pras, N et al., Mucuna pruriens: improvement of the biotechnological production of anti-parkinson drug l-dopa by plant cell selection. Pharm World Sci 15 (6) (1993): 263-268.

Rabey JM et al., Improvement of parkinsonian features correlate with high plasma levodopa values after broad bean (Vicia faba) consumption. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 1992 Aug, 55:8, 725-7.

Rabey JM et al., Broad bean (Vicia faba) consumption and Parkinson's disease. Adv Neurol, 1993, 60:, 681-4.

Raffauf, C., Jendroska, K., Poewe, W: Kava and dopamine antagonism. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. Vol. 58 (1995): 639-640.

Wichers, H., Visser, J., Huizing, H., Pras, N. Occurrence of 1-dopa and dopamine in plants and cell Cultures of mucuna pruriens and effects of 2,4-d and sodium chloride on these compounds. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 33 (3) (1993): 259-264.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Central Nervous System:

Basil Essence,Bergamot Essence,
Geranium Essence,Hop Essence,
Lavender Essence,Lemon Essence,
Marjoram Essence,Nutmeg Essence,
Orange Essence,Rosemary Essence,
Thyme Essence,Valerian Essence.



Tremor:

Juniper Essence,Nutmeg Essence,
Sandalwood Essence,Spruce Essence.




Related Health Conditions

AgingAlzheimer's
CrampDepression
EncephalitisInfection
SchizophreniaSenility



Abstracts

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