Beneficial Stem Cell Research Parkinson’s And Beyond
The more you hear about stem cells and the various therapies that they can be used for, you are going to see that this is a viable resource for the treatment of many different conditions. As a matter of fact, there are a tremendous amount of benefits that come from stem cell research Parkinson’s patients can receive. Stem cells are actually known to be a renewable source of tissues that can be manipulated to form various cell types throughout the body. The best examples to get results are those within an early stage embryo. However, there have been many new studies today that are showing the ability to harvest stems cells from the umbilical cord or even from adult hosts.
Stem cells have the ability to generate the major cell types that are found within the body. Examples include muscle, stomach, bone marrow, brain and even the heart. The adult stem cells have the ability to help repair and maintain by becoming cells that are specialized. Certain stem cells that can be found in bone marrow will work to boost other forms of stem cells and more. This is why there has been so much research to be done on the different ways that we can implement breakthrough therapies to help patients recover from a wide variety of diseases beyond Parkinsons.
When looking at stem cell research Parkinson’s is the perfect disease to benefit from comprehensive treatments. The stem cell research is geared towards learning just how the cells will work to replace cells that are scraped from adult organisms. Then, there are studies done to see how the organism is actually able to grow fully from a single cell. Information is recorded on the way in which the growth takes place, how the cells thrive and maintain health and even how they can start to take the place of other cells that may be damaged within the body.
If you read the news today, you are going to see that there is plenty of controversy surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells for Parkinsons and other health conditions. There has been some discussion about scientists working to clone stem cells so that they will be able to produce new human embryonic cells for use in trials. The main problem lies in the simple fact that a lot of people have a bit of a moral issue with cloning and the taking of cells from a human embryo.
With that being said, there are always going to be studies done and stem cell research Parkinson’s patients are going to be able to benefit from. Even if there is a way to take cells from adult donors and bring them to patients to help treat certain diseases, we are still coming a long way from having to go through risky surgical procedures and taking drug trials to see results. Overall, there are a lot of benefits that can come from proper stem cell research whether you are suffering from Parkinsons or a number of other health issues.
Questions and Answers
Chronic – meaning that it occurs over a long period of time without going away or going into remission.
Progressive – with more symptoms developing or the existing symptoms getting worse over time.
Incurable – there are treatments but thus far to treatment which will cause the symptoms to reverse significantly enough without recurrence. With proper treatment and therapies, many patients can have a slower progression but for some progression is rapid and cruel.
Neurodegenerative – In PD this means that the disease results from a degeneration/death of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta area of the brain which in turn causes a lower production of norepinephrine neurons, not to mention the loss of serotonin. Coupled with normal amounts of acetylcholine this can create a neurotransmitter communication problem with the muscles of the body. The result is both motor and non-motor function.
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are TRAP. Tremors, Rigidity, Akinesia (Bradykinesia or slowness) and Postural Instability.
It is important to note that not all people with the disease have all symptoms. Tremors occur in about 75% but not necessarily right away. This is an annoying, embarrassing symptom which people associate with the disease, but it is one of the least troublesome when it first appears. At least 40% of PD patients develop or have depression. More than 80% have sleep disorders and dysfunction.
Symptoms can include but are not limited to tremor, stiffness, slow movement, cognition problems, sleep disorders, constipation, urinary issues, ED, vision difficulty, loss of sense of smell, leg drag, micrographia, speech and swallowing problems, pain, limited use of extremities, dentition problems.
Although the next figures are subject to change and have, indeed, changed in the last few years, about 15-20% of cases are thought to be genetic with the remaining being considered idiopathic. But in most cases except those which may have developed from drug use or medication interaction, all seem to require an environmental trigger.
Parkinson’s disease is still considered a disease of older age and the likelihood of developing it increase with age. One issue may be that the medical profession has been slow to understand and recognize precursor symptoms which may begin to occur many years before the diagnosis. As the knowledge base increases, more people are being diagnosed earlier – the symptoms and the progression may be different for YOPDers.
Except for Japan, more men than women develop PD. The number of women with PD increases after menopausal age, possibly owing to the lack of estrogen neuroprotection. In the US there are about 1.5 million PD people with PD. Worldwide there may be as many as 5.5 million.
Although there is no question that having PD can shorten life span and is a direct contributor to causes of death, one thing does appear to be certain, it is not a condition which belongs in the infection disease category.
Parkinson’s disease has been recognized by various names for thousands of years and effective symptomatic treatment was found in Ayruvedic medicine more than 4,500 years ago.
It is a complicated series of syndromes which require decades of research and billions of dollars in order to understand the mechanism by which the disease develops and progresses. At some point, there will be a cure or cures but it may be quite a while. In the meanwhile there is hope.
Treatment involves a broad scope of products and therapies. Eventually there may be treatments which not only slow progression but reverse it. For the time being, those with money to spend explore many alternative treatments and therapies as well as conventional pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures.
One thing to remember is that treatment provides some symptomatic relief. A few treatments are thought to possibly slow progression.
Treatments include several families of medications. Dopaminergics, dopamine agonists, dopamine antagonists, MAO inhibitors, COMT inhibitors, off-label medications including calcium channel blockers, anti-inflammatories, anti-virals, cholinesterase inhibitors, certain statins, as well as antichlorinergics.
A healthy mediterranean diet is recommended by nutritionists to maintain health. Including caffeine products and green and black teas is also high on the dietary list. There are also several caveats about products with MSG and similar additives.
Some people use mucuna pruriens (fava beans which also have several other names) as a dietary supplement but that is a difficult one to control for actual l-dopa content. Other people use powders or capsules with standardized doses. The effect is said to be better than levodopa pills.
There are several nutritional supplements which are also play an important role in the lives of many PwPs. To name just a few: CoQ10 (clinical trials are looking at 2400mg doses vs 1200 mg doses currently); curcuminoids found in turmeric, vitamin B complex, Omega 3, vitamin D3, alpha lipoic acid, and the list goes on. Creatine is being tested now to see if it will help reduce symptoms or better yet, to slow progression. (As a side note, we have switched the type of creatine my husband uses for his PD and I think we are beginning to see some positive results. For the first time in 12-15 years, he has arm swing in his left arm (his PD side).
Therapies include a variety of exercises including aquatherapy, strength training, Yoga and Forced Exercise. Other therapies are vocal and speech training, massage therapy. As the disease progresses, some patients are eligible for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery,
You can read about these treatments and therapies in detail at the linked site:
Other find that medical marijuana helps to relieve certain symptoms and others use low dose naltrexone (LDN) for symptomatic relief.
One thing that is important to remember is that prescription medications can also cause additional symptoms as side effects. It is important to realize when it might be time to take a break from a medication in order to try another.
Best treatment depends upon the individual and the open-mindness and experience of the medical team.
Here are some ideas to heal the issue.
Although the cause is unknown, an imbalance of two brain chemicals, dopamine and acetylcholine, seems to be involved. A deficiency of dopamine in the brain can be due to underlying nutritional deficiencies, cerebral vascular disease (blockage of blood vessels in brain), side effects of anti-psychotic drugs, carbon monoxide poisoning, abuse of certain designer drugs, and a rare infection (encephalitis lethargica).
Parkinson’s disease has been associated with toxic buildup of heavy metals in the body, especially mercury from dental amalgams. To slow the progression of Parkinson’s amalgam fillings should be replaced, followed by a detoxification program.
Note: Treatment with complicated drug combinations and mobility exercises can reduce the progression and severity of the disease.
Levodopa and Sinemet are the two most commonly used drugs for treating Parkinson’s disease, but Levodopa is made ineffective if taken with vitamin B6. (Sinemet does not have this problem.) Using vitamin B6 alone can be just as effective in some individuals in the initial stages of the disease. Levodopa should also be taken away from protein meals, which decrease its effectiveness.
Diet: Eat an organic, whole foods diet with raw foods (50% to 75%), emphasizing dark green leafy vegetables, rutabagas, sprouts, sesame seeds, and sesame butter. Also drink plenty of pure, filtered water.
People using the drug levodopa should avoid or minimize their intake of foods that are rich in vitamin B6–whole grains, oats, raw nuts (especially peanuts), bananas, potatoes, liver, and fish.
Herbs: Passionflower can enhance the positive effects of the drug L-dopa (levodopa), producing a greater reduction in tremor. The Ayurvedic herb Mucuna pruriens, a natural form of levadopa, can also be helpful.
Nutritional Supplementation: Assessment of individual amino acids is important. Consult an orthomolecular doctor. Other useful nutrients include GABA, calcium, and magnesium, vitamin B complex (taken away from Levodopa), lecithin vitamin C, vitamin E, evening primrose oil, multivitamin/mineral complex, and DHEA (a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands). The coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) (25-50 mg per) day administered intravenously has also been shown to produce a beneficial effect in patients with Parkinson’s. Selenium is also recommended for its ability to detoxify mercury poisoning.
Alternative Professional Care
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional. The following professional care therapies have all been shown to be useful for treating Parkinson’s Disease: Cell Therapy (Stem Cell Therapy), Chelation Therapy (extremely important for detoxifying from heavy metal poisoning), Craniosacral Therapy, Detoxification Therapy, Holistic Dentistry, Light Therapy, Magnetic Field Therapy, Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy, Naturopathic Medicine, Orthomolecular Therapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Best of health to you.
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- New Parkinson's Treatment - WTAJ
- Stem Cells and Parkinson's Disease | The Michael J. Fox Foundation
- Stem cells for Parkinson's getting ready for clinic | UTSanDiego.com
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- Parkinson's Disease Fact Sheet | California's Stem Cell Agency
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