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I grew up watching shows like, “Family Ties” and loved it. On this show, one of the actors was Mr. Michael J. Fox, aka. Alex. He portrayed an intelligent character very set in his ways.
I have an apology to make here as it was pointed out by one of my readers, Michael J. Fox is still with us. I was distracted by one of those idiot newspapers. I am sorry.
News of actor Michael J. Fox’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However, the November 2019 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the actor is best known for his roles in Spin City or Back to the Future is alive and well.
We know him from several movies like, “Back to The Future”. He is a writer a father and a husband.
Burt Reynolds, my gosh he was huge in movies. I personally liked, “Smokey and The Bandit”.
In a bombshell exclusive, Radar can reveal that friends claim ailing Burt is showing many of the signs of early Parkinson’s disease — a tremor in his hand, zero expression on his face, and stiffness in his joints.
Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time:
Ali and Parkinson’s:
In the late 1970s, the public observed changes in Ali’s speed and speech. However, he wasn’t actually diagnosed with Parkinson’s until 1984 at the age of 42. The news came just three years after he formally retired from boxing.
It’s generally speculated that Ali’s boxing career was linked to his development of Parkinson’s. Wins turned to losses as his speed and agility suffered. By the time he took one of the greatest beatings of his life at the age of 38, the neurological symptoms were glaring. His speech was slurred and his hands were trembling visibly.
These are just a few of the public figures who suffered from Parkinson’s disease until their death.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.
Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Occasionally, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.
What about the other people who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease.
The prevalence of the disease ranges from 41 people per 100,000 in the fourth decade of life to more than 1,900 people per 100,000 among those who are 80 and older.
The incidence of the disease, or the rate of newly diagnosed cases, generally increases with age, although it can stabilize in people who are older than 80. An estimated 4 percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before age 50.
Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.
The disease affects patients’ quality of life, making social interaction more difficult and worsening their financial condition, due to the medical expenses associated with the disease.
Population studies on the incidence of Parkinson’s are important to scientists’ understanding of the history of the disease, its progression, and the risk factors associated with it. Information about the incidence in different age groups and genders can help healthcare experts design strategies to meet patients’ needs.
Every year, about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.
The combined direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s in the U.S. including treatment, disability, and similar costs, plus lost income from an inability to work, are estimated at $25 billion per year.
The average cost of Parkinson’s medication is $2,500 per year. Parkinson’s-related surgery can cost up to $100,000 per patient.
According to UCB, a global biopharma company focused on severe diseases with operations in approximately 40 countries, there are over 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease today, with about 6,600 new cases of Parkinson’s diagnosed each year in Canada (based on an annual incidence of 20 new cases per 100,000 people).
Overall, men are more likely to have the disease than women. The figures are 0.3% of men compared to 0.2% of women in private households, and 6.6% of men vs. 4% of women in care facilities.
About 56% of patients receive formal or informal assistance due to their condition. Of these, 84% rely on family, friends, or neighbors, while 56% obtain other assistance.
The prevalence of Parkinson’s in the U.K. is about one in 500 people, with a total of about 127,000 people living with the disease.
Someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s every hour in the U.K. Most are 50 or older.
Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:
- Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
- Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
- Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling, or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur, or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
- Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and you’re writing may appear small.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease — not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule out other causes for your symptoms.
In Parkinson’s disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:
- Your genes. Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson’s disease. But these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson’s disease. However, certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease but with a relatively small risk of Parkinson’s disease for each of these genetic markers.
- Environmental triggers. Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s disease, but the risk is relatively small.
Researchers have also noted that many changes occur in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, although it’s not clear why these changes occur. These changes include:
- The presence of Lewy bodies. Clumps of specific substances within brain cells are microscopic markers of Parkinson’s disease. These are called Lewy bodies, and researchers believe these Lewy bodies hold an important clue to the cause of Parkinson’s disease.
- Alpha-synuclein is found within Lewy bodies. Although many substances are found within Lewy bodies, scientists believe an important one is a natural and widespread protein called alpha-synuclein (a-synuclein). It’s found in all Lewy bodies in a clumped form that cells can’t break down. This is currently an important focus of Parkinson’s disease researchers.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease 2?
The basal ganglia, located in the brain, is a highly specialized region that helps regulate body movement. Its cells require a precise balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine and acetylcholine to communicate effectively. With Parkinson’s, cells begin to deteriorate and produce insufficient dopamine levels. This produces a chemical imbalance in your brain which leads to the symptoms we’ve come to associate with Parkinson’s disease. While research indicates that genetics plays a predominant role in developing the disease, it may also be caused by a viral infection or exposure to environmental toxins, such as carbon monoxide and pesticides.
Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease include:
- Age. Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk increases with age. People usually develop the disease around age 60 or older.
- Heredity. Having a close relative with Parkinson’s disease increases the chances that you’ll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson’s disease.
- Sex. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women.
- Exposure to toxins. Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides may slightly increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by these additional problems, which may be treatable:
- Thinking difficulties. You may experience cognitive problems (dementia) and thinking difficulties. These usually occur in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. Such cognitive problems aren’t very responsive to medications.
- Depression and emotional changes. You may experience depression, sometimes in the very early stages. Receiving treatment for depression can make it easier to handle the other challenges of Parkinson’s disease. You may also experience other emotional changes, such as fear, anxiety, or loss of motivation. Doctors may give you medications to treat these symptoms.
- Swallowing problems. You may develop difficulties with swallowing as your condition progresses. Saliva may accumulate in your mouth due to slowed swallowing, leading to drooling.
- Chewing and eating problems. Late-stage Parkinson’s disease affects the muscles in your mouth, making chewing difficult. This can lead to choking and poor nutrition.
- Sleep problems and sleep disorders. People with Parkinson’s disease often have sleep problems, including waking up frequently throughout the night, waking up early, or falling asleep during the day. People may also experience rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, which involves acting out your dreams. Medications may help your sleep problems.
- Bladder problems. Parkinson’s disease may cause bladder problems, including being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating.
- Constipation. Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop constipation, mainly due to a slower digestive tract.
You may also experience:
- Blood pressure changes. You may feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand due to a sudden drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension).
- Smell dysfunction. You may experience problems with your sense of smell. You may have difficulty identifying certain odors or the difference between odors.
- Fatigue. Many people with Parkinson’s disease lose energy and experience fatigue, especially later in the day. The cause isn’t always known.
- Pain. Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience pain, either in specific areas of their bodies or throughout their bodies.
- Sexual dysfunction. Some people with Parkinson’s disease notice a decrease in sexual desire or performance.
Because the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, proven ways to prevent the disease also remain a mystery.
Some research has shown that regular aerobic exercise might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Some other research has shown that people who drink caffeine — which is found in coffee, tea, and cola — get Parkinson’s disease less often than those who don’t drink it. However, it is still not known whether caffeine actually protects against getting Parkinson’s, or is related in some other way. Currently, there is not enough evidence to suggest drinking caffeinated beverages to protect against Parkinson’s. Green tea is also related to a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Common Treatment Options
Unfortunately, there is no standard treatment protocol for Parkinson’s disease. Treatment options will be based on the stage and severity of each individual’s symptoms. Along with lifestyle modifications like eating healthier along with getting more rest and exercise, treatment may include medications or surgery. While current medications reduce the severity of symptoms and may slow the progression, they do not reverse the effects of the disease. People suffering from Parkinson’s often take a variety of medications in different doses. They may need assistance to manage their dosing schedule in order to receive the full benefit of the medications.
Surgical options include deep brain stimulation. A surgeon will implant electrodes into a specific part of the brain. The electrodes transmit electrical impulses from a generator implanted in the upper chest that stimulates the brain and reduces symptoms. This option is usually recommended for individuals with advanced Parkinson’s who have not benefited from medications.
I can not list all the treatments that are being used in the medical field, but I do know there are new regimes of medications being applied.
Natural Remedies for Parkinson’s Disease
It is widely held that fresh organic vegetables and fruits consumed raw can provide all the nutrients necessary for the cleansing of the body. The identified nutrients include phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids, fiber, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Consuming these nutrients is considered essential for digesting food and their absence can cause a lot of damage to the intestinal and digestive systems.
Consume More Fermented Foods
It is very important for the gut to have a high level of beneficial bacteria for good digestion and preventing many disorders and diseases. A normal diet sometimes leads to the reduction of gut flora due to the absence of fermented foods. It is, therefore, important to replenish beneficial bacteria by consuming probiotic foods. The desired beneficial bacteria are typically found in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented soy, kombucha tea, etc. that help the body to eliminate the heavy metals ingested by it and detoxify itself by breaking down the many toxins present in the environment.
Avoid Unnecessary Iron Consumption
One of the causes of Parkinson’s disease is the toxicity caused by heavy metals. Heavy metal poisoning is responsible for fainting and dizziness which are symptoms of heavy metal poisoning apart from low blood pressure. Often iron supplements prescribed to people suffering from Parkinson’s cause a deterioration in their brain health instead of making them healthier. Excessive iron buildup in the body is also the reason why the disease is more prevalent in men than women as females have a system of shedding excess blood from their system with menstruation. A lot of research is being conducted on how Parkinson’s disease can be treated by protein synthesis using a target protein shaker.
With the detoxification of the body being very important for the prevention and management of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, drinking green tea is just what the doctor would order. Green tea has all the desired polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids essential for combating the free radicals in the body. Green tea also contains theanine, a mineral that boosts the level of dopamine and reduces the impact of Parkinson’s disease. Undertaking a thorough gastrointestinal and liver cleanse program can prepare your body to benefit from the nutrients.
This natural cure can help in the management of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that are related to balance, movement, and muscle control by regulating dopamine levels. Also, it can fight against free radicals, lower inflammation, and enhance the antioxidant activity in the body. The recommended dosage is 300 – 1200 mg of ashwagandha extract or one to two tablespoons of ashwagandha powder and you should take them two times per day with meals. You can take this dosage for short–term and long–term.
Also, you can make a mild decoction with ashwagandha powder or mix it with honey, ghee, buttermilk, or milk. Also, you can find ashwagandha in capsules. Talk with your doctor before you start taking ashwagandha.
St. John’s wort: Depression is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The natural treatment of this disease also involves the management of depression. In most cases, antidepressants will make you sleepy and you will not be able to do your everyday activities. St. John’s wort can help in the treatment of mild – to – moderate depression. If you have severe depression that is associated with Parkinson’s disease, then you will need medical help. This natural cure is commonly used as a natural remedy across European nations.
The recommended dosage for St. John’s wort is about 300 mg, three times per day. You need to ask your doctor for the proper dosage for you before you start taking this supplement. It is known that St. John’s wort can interfere with other medical treatments and you should not take it with other antidepressants.
Vitamin C: You can use this vitamin as an antioxidant to prevent free radical damage. Also, this vitamin can support a strong immune function. It is recommended to take 750 mg of Vitamin C, 4 times per day.
Vitamin D: If you want to maintain bone health, then you should be sure that your diet includes a lot of calcium and Vitamin D. Those people who are over the age of 50 should consume 1500 mg of calcium along with at least 800 IU of Vitamin D. They can get the Vitamin D from supplements, foods, and sun.
Cocoa: It is a known fact that cocoa extracts can help in the regulation of dopamine levels in people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. It has flavonol which together with other substances (such as caffeine) has a neuroprotective effect in Parkinson’s disease as well as in Alzheimer’s disease.
Broad beans: This natural cure is rich in L – dopa. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease and you eat these beans on a regular basis, then they can improve motor movements, especially if this disease is in the beginning stages. The whole plant is nutritious but the pod is the most effective source of L–dopa. If you use broad beans in excess amounts, then they can cause stomach upset or allergies. You need to talk with your doctor about the proper dosages before you start taking it as your natural treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Fish oil: Omega-3 – 3 fatty acids which are part of the fish oil are very beneficial for our health. Also, they can treat Parkinson’s disease. When you use fish oil on a regular basis, then it can prevent neuronal cell death and it can help with Parkinson’s disease. The omega-3–3 fatty acids in it have antioxidant properties that can reduce oxidative stress and fight against Parkinson’s disease. There are many studies that have shown that fish oil can combat depression without the help of antidepressants. Before you start taking fish oil you need to talk with your doctor because the type of food and medicines which you take should be considered in the treatment of this disease.
Grape seed extract: This natural cure has a super antioxidant effect that will reduce DNA fragmentation in the brain. Also, it is able to cross into the brain and protect the brain cells from free radical damage.
What you should avoid:
You should avoid too much protein and if you reduce the intake of protein, then it can improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. We know that processed foods have toxins and additives that can worsen Parkinson’s disease. One of the best ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease and other age-related illnesses is not to give your children processed foods. The added sugar and artificial sweeteners are considered toxic and they can worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It is known that alcohol can disrupt neurological functioning and it can lead to complications and mood changes.
You should avoid any potential food allergens because they can exacerbate Parkinson’s disease symptoms by worsening inflammation and gut health. You should start by limiting the common allergens, such as peanuts, shellfish, dairy, and gluten.
Mood disorders are also one of the common features seen among people with Parkinson’s disease, and there have been a number of research mentioning the mood-boosting properties present in omega-3 fatty acids. In one of the small placebo-controlled group tests, the pilot trial reported a significant amount of improvement in treating depression in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
These individuals were treated with omega-3 fatty acid supplements versus the placebo ones. Foods that are rich in omega-3s are found in fish such as Mackerel, Sardines, Trout, Salmon, Herring, and Anchovies. Calcium and Vitamin When an individual is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, getting the required amount of calcium becomes quite difficult since people who have the disease find that dairy items are more likely to inhibit levodopa absorption than proteins.
However, calcium can be taken in some forms to meet the body’s daily requirements. They include: Breakfast cereals Fortified food items that contain calcium Calcium-fortified orange juice Calcium-fortified rice Soy milk alternatives which can be used in cereals, smoothies, and other types of food preparations Calcium citrate supplements Chewable calcium tablets Vitamin D is also very important for our body. This vitamin is produced in our body when the skin gets exposed to the sun. Without adequate amounts of vitamin D, calcium would not be absorbed in the body.
For those individuals who live in sunny regions, getting at least an hour of sun exposure per week should not be a difficult thing. Expose your hands, face, and arms to the sun. It is also important to note that vitamin D gets stored in the body during the summer and can be conserved for the winter season. For those who cannot get daily sun exposure, another option for taking vitamin D is to consume fatty fish such as fish liver oil or salmon, eggs, milk and its substitutes, margarine, cereals, liver, and vitamin D supplements.
The current recommendation for vitamin D would be 400 IUs for those who are 50 years and above and 600 IUs for those above 70 years old. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that could help slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. According to studies, patients with Parkinson’s disease have low levels of coenzyme Q10 in their blood and brain. The mitochondria are said to be responsible for producing energy for the cells in our body. However, in the process of production, there is a creation of a by-product of spare electrons.
When these electrons tend to escape the cells, they are called free radicals, which are damaging and are often responsible for oxidative damage to the brain along with being linked to cognitive problems.
Every cell in the body is said to contain a powerful antioxidant known as coenzyme Q10, which fights off oxidative damage. However, those individuals who have high levels of oxidative damage may even need more of it such as a daily Coenzyme Q10 supplementation of 1,200 mg. Folate or Folic Acid Genetic defects and environmental toxins may lead to the emergence of Parkinson’s disease.
However, a new study conducted on mice has shown that folic acid or folate can help prevent this form of degenerative brain disorder. Folic acid is widely known for preventing central nervous system birth defects. There has also been a lot of evidence that it can help prevent heart disease, especially in individuals who have too much homocysteine.
Folate tends to decrease the levels of homocysteine in the body. Folate or vitamin B9 is considered very good for memory and brain health. Folic acid is considered vital for the development of the nervous system. The research conducted on mice showed that the ones who were kept on a low folic acid diet were more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than those who were on a normal folic acid diet. There are about 50,000 Parkinson’s cases every year in the US. The disease is mostly due to a deficiency in the production of dopamine.
Being dopamine deficient leads to movement disorders such as tremors in the hands, stiffness in the muscles, and slow movements. The levels of homocysteine in the body could be reduced when folic acid is taken along with vitamins B12 and B6. Taking these supplements may prevent the occurrence of a stroke or heart attack. They can also help maintain a strong memory.
Please always consult with your Doctor, before assuming anything. A lot of the time natural remedies are not recognized by the medical community.
I am not a fan of prescription medications mainly due to the several side effects, but I am not a Doctor. Many prescribed medications are very necessary and in no way should you ignore your doctor’s advice.
Thank you for reading my article,
Comments are welcome