Archive for the ‘Neurology’ Category
There have been a number of overseas studies that have linked pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is the death of brain cells that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in movement and it can lead to paralysis.
An article in Reuters based on some information publicized by Dr William Langston, founder of the Parkinson Institute and his team, gave evidence that pesticides can cause Parkinson’s disease even as way back as 2008. The information was based on research presented at the Parkinson’s disease Environmental Research meeting in California and was the result of an expert study of the link between people and animals.
The study showed that farm workers who used the weedkiller Paraquat had two to three times the normal risk of Parkinson’s. Another study showed that animals exposed to Paraquat (N,N′-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridinium dichloride) have a build-up of a protein called Alpha-synuclein in their brains. This protein has also been linked to Parkinson’s in the past. A third study showed that this build-up of protein kills the same brain cells as Parkinson’s disease.
Whilst drugs delay some symptoms of the disease there is not really any good treatment or cure. The study said that farm workers were at high risk in USA although links with pesticides have been difficult to document due to an inability to link the pesticide with the disease as it takes many years often for the disease to develop.
The study took into account 80,000 people in USA and found farm workers exposed to Paraquat had twice the risk of Parkinson’s. Exposure to another pesticide called Dieldrin also raised the risk.
This study was different to ones in the past because it was documented carefully via records of purchase of the pesticides. Dr. Donato Di Monte of the Parkinson’s Institute gave Paraquat to lab animals and found it caused a build-up of Alpha-synuclein in the brain which killed the same neurons affected by people with Parkinson’s. He continued to say that the increase in Alpha-synuclein in the brain could be the missing link between the exposure to this agent and how it causes the disease. Both Langston and Di Monte said inflammation also could be a factor. Langston went on to say that multiple concussions causing inflammation in the brain raise the risk of Parkinson’s.
It is also important with Parkinson’s disease to make sure you take the correct supplements as the body is depleted in these. Usually there are not enough nutrients in the food we are eating to counteract the speed of the illness. This is often the case for many severe illnesses and it also needs to be remembered that the body, mind and energy are linked so emotional issues are also likely to be involved.
Supplements which are helpful in the case of Parkinson’s disease are: Vitamin B6, B2, B complex, Glutamic acid, Magnesium, Calcium lactate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Lecithin.
Priorities in diet are: a raw food diet of organically grown foods including raw seeds, nuts, grains, sprouts, raw milk especially goats, fruits, and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables and yellow turnips are especially good and sesame seeds. It also needs to be remembered that a low protein diet is recommended.
From the standpoint of natural health it seems that yet again we have a reaction of the body to toxins. Interesting? How many illnesses have this reaction and could perhaps be prevented? There are many because the body is supposed to be more alkaline than acidic and with the junk foods out there some people eat it easily turns the other way into an acidic system instead of an alkaline one.
There are many ways to alkalies the body whether it is drinking alkalies water, eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking more ordinary filtered water or simply not eating as much junk food. It is important to do a bowel cleanse and a liver detox every once in a while but be careful which detox kit you choose because you don’t want to be spending half your week in the toilet because the kit is driving your bowels too much. As for the liver cleanse that needs to be done AFTER the bowel cleanse so the toxins can flush effectively. Remember though that whatever you do in the direction of improving your health, even if it is something small, is a valid step and will help you to work towards a healthier body and lifestyle.
Parkinson’s disease is a complex constellation of symptoms requiring the care of a neurologist. As reported in the August 30, 2011 issue of Neurology, Parkinson patients can have a greatly improved quality of life and long-term clinical well being under the care of a neurologist. Parkinson disease affects approximately 1 million Americans. It is only second to Alzheimer’s disease as a common neurodegenerative illness. Early diagnosis, recognition of associated symptoms and comorbidities with comprehensive care are necessary if a Parkinson patient’s long term quality of life are to be optimized.
Neurology involves a vast scope of illnesses, each requiring intimate knowledge and understanding of the disease process as well as the treatment required to optimized patient well being and life quality.
Across the United States, 15-20% of all visits to a primary care doctor’s office (family physician or internal medicine) involve a neurological complaint. While simple problems such as back or neck pain can easily be treated, more complicated illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, seizures and multiple sclerosis should be managed by a neurologist. Surveys in the United States and Europe show that both medical students and general physicians do not feel as comfortable in managing neurological problems as they do other medical problems. The article in Neurology showed that Parkinson disease patients, managed by a neurologist, have better outcomes than those managed by primary care physicians.
Parkinson patients managed by neurologists, generally have an earlier diagnosis. This leads to earlier treatment. With this, patient functioning can be maintained and optimized. This allows for the patient and their families to enjoy more quality time together with an increased ability to engage in social activities and travel.
The Neurology study, involved over 138,000 Parkinson patents over the age of 65. The study showed that about 20% of patents with Parkinson’s disease never see a neurologist. These patients had a higher rate of falling, hip fractures, admission to nursing homes and shorter survival rate.
Parkinson patents cared for by a neurologist, by contrast, significantly had fewer hip fractures. Hip fractures are a major cause of disability and death in the elderly. Inherent to Parkinson patients is gait instability and a tendency to fall. Falling prevention is a main goal in all elderly patients, but particularly those with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, many who suffer a hip fracture may become wheelchair confined, even with successful hip fracture repair. One third of all patients who suffer a hip fracture will die within a year of their fracture! With detailed care of Parkinson patients’ symptoms, a neurologist can better help these patients from falling and prevent major injuries.
This study also showed that Parkinson patients getting state-of-the-art care by a neurologist had a lower probability of being admitted to a nursing home. While most Parkinson patients do not need nursing home care, those with more advanced disease, Parkinson-related dementia or complications such as hip fractures frequently need skilled nursing facility placement.
Parkinson’s disease is complex. Not only are the motor symptoms a major problem, but so are the cognitive and psychological problems that go along with this disease. Depression and anxiety occur in over fifty percent of Parkinson patients. Early recognition and treatment of this is critical for improved patient and caregiver quality of life. Dementia is also a common problem. It can start as mild memory loss but will progress to dementia. Neurologists are sensitive to these problems and there are medications that can help.
The final finding of the Neurology study was that the six-year survival of Parkinson’s disease patients, managed by neurologist, was significantly increased. There are multiple reasons why this may be the case, including earlier use of the many types of medications used in Parkinson management, treatment of coexisting psychiatric problems and addressing the multitude of other medical problems that are frequently associated with Parkinson’s disease.
The conclusion for Parkinson patients and their family or caregivers is to get that patient in to see a neurologist, particularly one who specializes in movement disorders.
Patients want more control over their life, improved quality of life and the ability to remain functional as long as possible. This is true for the Parkinson patient as well. Take control of your life; contact a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease for consultation and management. It will most likely be the best thing you could do for yourself – for the rest of your life.