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Causes of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately 1 million is 60
years, and the disease seems to affect men and women equally.
The main symptoms and signs of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, rigidity, slowed movement, loss of balance,
disturbances of posture, facial expressions are reduced, difficulty in speaking, handwriting become smaller and
difficulty to turn over in bed, depression, psychosis and drooling. There is no pain or other sensation other than
a decreased ability to move.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease:
PD patients are profoundly deficient in the neurotransmitter dopamine. The deficiency of dopamine in
Parkinson’s patients is directly correlated with loss of cells in the substantia nigra which is the brain part located
in the midbrain and plays an important role in controlling movement.
To understand why PD develops and how to find a cure for it, you have to understand and deal with the root
causes of this potentially serious neurological disorder.
Traditional doctors will tell you that PD’s causes remain unknown or that it is a genetically related disorder. But
according to research Parkinson’s disease causes can be explained by Functional Medicine doctors in many of
the books and research articles they have written. The following is a summary of the causes of PD according to
Functional Medicine doctors:
- Something is out of balance. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) involves the deterioration of specific nerve
centers in the brain. This deterioration changes the chemical balance of acetylcholine and dopamine.
These two chemicals are both essential for transmission of nerve signals. When the balance between
these two neurotransmitters is altered, the ultimate result is a lack of control of physical movements.
- Something is wrong with the Liver. Functional Medicine doctors reported that individuals with poor
liver ability to detoxify toxins were much more likely to suffer from neurological diseases. Dr. G.B.
Steventon, from the Queen Elizabeth Medical Center in Birmingham, England found that Parkinson’s
sufferers’ ability to detoxify a variety of medications and toxins was less than half as efficient as healthy
age-matched controls. From this research they concluded that Parkinson’s patients may have a
deficiency in detoxification pathways.
Parkinson’s patients have depleted their livers’ ability to detoxify free radicals and were much more
susceptible to nervous system damage and direct toxic effects from various chemicals. Free radicals can
directly and indirectly through toxic products damage dopamine-producing neurons and deplete cells of
glutathione, an important antioxidant. Studies on the brains of PD patients show oxidative damage and
mitochondrial dysfunction in the neurons of the substantia nigra.
- Something is wrong with digestion. If the gut is not healthy, neither is the rest of the body including
the brain. In the stomach, nutrients are made usable as fuel for running the body and the brain.
James Barker, N.D., summarized the importance of protecting the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract by
saying that if the eyes and the skin are the portals through which we may observe the body's internal
health, then the gut is the door through which a majority of disease initiates its entrance into the body. It
goes without saying that the first area of treatment then for the PD patient should be the gastrointestinal
lining, without a doubt.
Most people fail to realize that the gut is literally our second brain and actually has the ability to influence
our mind and mood. A healthy gut has 3 pounds of friendly bacteria and they play a role in the
communication between our gut and our brain. In fact the neurotransmitter serotonin that stimulate
certain serotonin receptors in the brain has the greatest concentration in the gut. Serotonin is involved in
mood and depression control.
It makes perfect sense to nourish our gut flora for optimal brain function.
Feel free to email me and request a summary of a research on the relationship of gut and brain from
Neurogastroenterology and Motility Journal.
- Infection. If the immune system has to get up every day and fight germs (harmful bacteria, yeast,
parasites...etc.) it is not surprising that it may become cranky and confused to environmental stimuli.
A cause of PD is the immune system becoming over reactive and confused to normal stimuli. Infections
from the growth of Candida albicans are common among PD patients. Candida albicans is a type of
yeast-like fungus that can cause weakening of the immune system and infection known as candidiasis.
Candidiasis is the result of eating processed foods (white sugar, white flour, white rice...etc.), using
antibiotics and different medical drugs.
There is research that states that Candida will produce a harmful toxin, and that the main effect of this
toxin is to stifle the production of CoQ10. CoQ10 is present in all living cells where it plays a critical role in
cellular energy production. Energy deficiencies in specific parts of the brain can cause inadequate
production of important brain chemicals. According to Dr. M. Flint Beal at the Massachusetts General
Hospital, Parkinson’s patients demonstrate a profound deficiency of CoQ10 which may explain why their
brains produce an inadequate supply of dopamine.
Please feel free to email me and request articles if you want to learn more about candidiasis and the
therapeutic potential of CoQ10 in Parkinson’s disease.
- Exposure to toxins. The three primary ways that toxins enter the blood stream and thus the body are:
1. Through the digestive system (eaten),In our modern lifestyle, we are exposed to many harmful chemical substances. An exposure to any potential
2. Through the respiratory system (breathed in)
3. And through the skin (absorbed).
toxins can sensitize us and lead to a diseased state such as PD.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated a clear relationship between various agricultural chemicals and risk
for development of Parkinson’s disease especially the use of pesticides. In comparing one farming area
southwest of Montreal where pesticides were used in large amounts to areas in the same region with low
pesticide use, the incidence of PD was seven times greater in the former.
As you can see from the above list, there are several causes of PD, and therefore there is no quick fix for PD.
To reverse PD you must address the causes of PD. Look into the causes of PD and how to address them with
changes in your diet and lifestyle. Only you can do that, only you can become your own best healer.
Bland, Jeffrey. The 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program. Keats Publishing, Los Angeles, 1999.
Perlmutter, David. “Parkinson’s Disease-New Perspectives”. Townsend Letter for Doctors, January 1997, pgs.
Perlmutter, David. “New Advances in Parkinson’s Disease”, Townsend Letter for Doctors, July 2001, pgs. 52-57
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