Parkinson’s Disease > Holistic Solutions?

Parkinson’s Disease > Holistic Solutions?

Info on Parkinson’s Disease from a holistic/natural health perspective, a hodge-podge, all from reliable sources that have large bodies of work behind them.

See Dr. John McDougall’s work on Parkinson’s Disease

Following is an excerpt from McDougall from the above-referenced article based on his studies with respect to Parkinson’s and diet:

Three Possible Mechanisms for Diet-caused Brain Damage
After accepting the possibility that PD is due, at least in part, to what we eat, then the next logical question is: how is this damage mediated? There are three common ways our diet could kill the dopamine-producing cells of the substantia nigra:

  1. Autoimmune Reactions
    One probable mechanism begins with the destruction of the blood brain barrier by dietary components, especially the fats. Once this barrier becomes ineffective (permeable) then immune cells (antibodies) produced outside of the nervous system can enter the cerebrospinal fluid and attack the brain’s cells. Dairy proteins are notorious for causing this kind of reaction, known as molecular mimicry. In susceptible people, cow’s milk protein may enter the bloodstream from the intestine.5,6 The body recognizes this as a foreign protein, like a virus or bacteria, and makes antibodies against it. Unfortunately, these antibodies are not specific only to the cow’s milk protein; they find similar proteins in the nervous system.
  2. Vascular Disease
    The compromise of the blood supply to the brain caused by vascular closures leads to the death of brain tissues. The mechanisms are the same as those that lead to heart attacks and common strokes. One proposed link between PD and atherosclerosis is iron, a nutrient associated with meat consumption.
  3. Environmental Chemicals
    Most pesticides work by interfering with the nervous system of insects, so findings of brain damage in people exposed to pesticides and other environmental chemicals should be no surprise.8-10 Convincing examples of this toxicity to the brain are seen in people who work with toxic chemicals; for example, sheep farmers who were exposed to organophosphate pesticides (in the course of dipping sheep to rid them of infestations) performed significantly worse than non-exposed farmers in tests to assess sustained attention and speed of information processing. Studies show that exposure to pesticides and insecticides causes Parkinson’s disease in humans by damaging the brain’s cells of genetically susceptible people.12-15 An insecticide, dieldrin, is among the most likely culprits.16 Patients with PD have a reduced capacity for detoxification of these toxic compounds. Enzyme systems that metabolize these brain-damaging chemicals are a result of genetic traits. The concentrations of deldrin compounds in the substantia nigra were significantly higher in PD tissues.

Dr. Michael Gregor also has some informative videos on diet and Parkinson’s:
Treating Parkinson’s with Diet
Preventing Parkinson’s With Diet

Joel Fuhrman, MD., a big proponent of fasting and minimizing/eliminating meat and dairy in the diet, has done some study on a lack of essential fatty acids (DHA) in Parkinson’s patients.

Research intermittent fasting and Parkinson’s Disease

This, from Julian Whitaker, MD., an article on Parkinson’s discussing free radical damage and supplements. From the article:

Although the free radical aspect of Parkinson’s disease is ignored by conventional medicine, informed physicians have been using it to their patients’ advantage for years. Intravenous administration of glutathione, one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, has been demonstrated to significantly slow the progression of Parkinson’s, and it is the treatment of choice for this condition at the Whitaker Wellness Institute.

Full article here Whitaker Wellness on Parkinson’s Disease/


photo credit: “Autophagy” by Cheung and Ip – Molecular Brain, Biomed Central. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –