Finally: Parkinson disease: Spanish research team found two major keys of the neuroprotection and natural increase of dopamine

Ramón Cacabelos, a world known expert for neurodegenerative disorders and genomic medicine, and his team have completed preclinical and clinical studies with a nutraceutical called AtreMorine. The exceptional results shows that AtreMorine protects selectively dopaminergic neurons and significantly increases naturally the dopamine level in the organism and without any reverse effects.

Parkinson’s disease, with known symptoms as tremors, stiffness, slowness of movements, depression and other , is mainly due to the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. These dopaminergic neurons are quite rare in the brain and they die gradually.

An estimated loss of 5 to 10% of these neurons degenerate per decade in everybody’s brain and this process starts more or less at the age of 20. This degeneration occurs even more rapidly in persons affected by Parkinson’s disease and once the loss of these neurons reaches the critical 60-80% barrier, all known symptoms of this disease appear.

To produce dopamine, the body needs its precursor L-dopa. If L-dopa is given to the organism, it will transform it into dopamine. If the body can not produce enough dopamine through its dopaminergic neurons because too many of them died, then we give the synthetic drug L-dopa producing good results for an average of 3 to 10 years. But as we know, unfortunately, despite the very interesting and confirmed results on the symptoms, especially in the early phases, these conventional medical drugs are not able to cure and the destruction of the remaining dopaminergic neurons continues.

Professor Ramon Cacabelos and his team studied and developed during the last seven years this exceptional bioproduct which has significant performances over disorders due to the lack of dopamine which is the case of Parkinson’s disease.

This study was recently published in the “Journal of Genomic Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Scitcentral” with all references to the pre-clinical and clinical results of this nutraceutical whose scientific name is E-PodoFavalin-15999, distributed under the name AtreMorine.

The participants in this clinical study were divided into two groups: on one side the Parkinson patients being already in long term treatment with classical antiparkinsonian drugs and on the other side Parkinson’s patients never being in a medical treatment against Parkinson.

The first remark was that 100% of patients without antiparkinson treatment had dramatic hypodopaminergic levels, with dopamine plasma below 20 pg / mL. This is far to less for the body and this make it evident that it is important to take medical treatments in the case of Parkinson’s disease.

Respecting the other scientific results of this study, they were numerous, very promising and encouraging in both groups of patients giving significant solutions for Parkinson’s patients:

The scientific study reveals, that the first beneficial effect of AtreMorine is the selective protection of dopaminergic neurons, that means:

“so far, no remedy allowed to stop or decrease significantly the loss of dopaminergic neurons, but thanks to AtreMorine that is possible now.”


The second most important beneficial effect of AtreMorine for Parkinson patients, revealed in the study, is its ability to increase significantly levels of dopamine in the body thanks to the enormously rich content of natural L-DOPA (average concentration: 20mg/g).

The scientific study indeed showed that:

“A single dose of 5-10 grams of AtreMorine increases dopamine levels in average range by 500% – 4000% in 30 minutes, and it’s effects remain up to 12 hours, improving in parallel the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity.”


The nutraceutical is made out of 100% natural plant extracts with a patented extraction method that protects the active principals. Another important factor the study showed, was the fact that the nutraceutical was tolerated by 100% of patients without any adverse effects.

AtreMorine has also shown other beneficial effects with a powerful regulation the noradrenaline and the hormones of the pituitary gland, such as prolactin and growth hormone which takes part in the control of supra-hypothalamic dopaminergic neurotransmission as mentioned in the study.

The noradrenaline as as well as the dopamine are very important in regulation of the mood of the persons. Many studies show that sadness and depression are regular phenomenon observed in almost 30% of patients with parkinson.

The study suggests that AtreMorine can contribute to:

  • Reduce the phenomenon “wearing off” or “end-of-dose deterioration” (observed essentially in the intermediate and advanced phases).
  • Help to improve the therapeutic effect of conventional antiParkinson drugs and delay the loss of long term response (from the initial to the advanced phase).
  • Reduce at the same time the short term and long term adverse effects and long duration (from the initial to the advanced phase).

The study reveals precisely that co-administration of nutraceutical AtreMorine with antiparkinsonian drugs, allows a reduction of the conventional medicine dose between 25 to 50%, with clinical benefits and significant reduction of short and long term adverse of these drugs. Consequently, patients could use antiparkinsonian drugs over a much longer period.

This is how this nutraceutical showed its utility in all stages of Parkinson’s disease (initial, intermediate and advanced stages). It could also be an option particularly for patients with serious adverse reactions and who can not take antiparkinson drugs or those having greater tolerance to natural products.

The promising results of this study suggests that AtreMorine contribute to significantly improve the lives of thousands of persons and their families nowadays. In addition to this, Atremorine could not not only help persons already suffering with parkinson’s disease and who need urgent help right now, but also help to prevent degeneration by persons exposed to a high level of pesticides for example, or those with medical family records for Parkinson’s disease.

Atremorine is situated first of all as a complement to the anti-parkinsonian drugs with their beneficial effects over the symptoms.



20 Medical Benefits of Marijuana You Probably Never Knew

This article is solely based on the medical benefits of marijuana. We are highlighting the positive aspects only, based on researches and scientific evidences. Please note, Medicinetimes does not promote consumption of marijuana for recreational or prescribe it for any other purposes in that manner.

Before I begin, let me take you to 2737 BC. It has been described that during that period, the first direct reference was found in China in the writings of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. The first use of cannabis product was used for psychoactive agents. In the writings, the focus was mainly on its power as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and funny enough, for absent-mindedness. The importance of medicinal value was focused mainly than the intoxication properties. Gradually its use spread from China to India, and then to North Africa, and reached Europe as early as AD 500. Marijuana was listed in United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 till 1942. It was prescribed for different medical uses such as labor pain, nausea, and rheumatism.

Medical Uses

From 1850s to 1930s cannabis started to grow famous for recreational purposes. As the intake of this drug increased over time, The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified it as a Scheduled I Drug. So naturally controversies aroused surrounding the medical use of marijuana. To make it more medical-friendly, its active ingredient THC was synthesized in 1966, and finally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1985.

A 1999 a U.S. Government sponsored study by the Institute of Medicine uncovered the beneficial properties of marijuana in certain medical conditions such as nausea caused by chemotherapy, and wasting caused by AIDS. Since 1999, a number of studies have been done to show that smoked marijuana has pain reducing effects. In 1996, California became the first state to legalise the use of marijuana for medical objectives, and about 24 of the states now have some sort of medical marijuana legislation. You will be surprised to know why studies have been done on this herb, and for your favor, here is the list of 20 medical benefits of marijuana you probably never knew!

1. Marijuana slows and stops cancer cells from spreading.

It was found in the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, that Cannabidiol has the ability to stop cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1. In 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, reported that CBD may prevent cancer from spreading. The researchers experimented on breast cancer cells in the lab that had high level of Id-1, and treated them with cannabidiol. The outcome was rather positive, the cells had decreased Id-1 expression, and were less aggressive spreaders. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research has found that marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in brain, breast, and lungs considerately.

2. Prevents Alzheimer’s.

THC, the active ingredient present in marijuana slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a 2006 study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute found out. THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques kill the brain cells, and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Treats Glaucoma.

Weed can be used to treat glaucoma, which increases the pressure in the eyeball, injuring the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. According to National Eye Institute, marijuana lowers the pressure inside the eye, “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”

These effects of the drug can prevent blindness.

4. Relieves Arthritis.

In 2011, researchers reported that cannabis reduces pain and inflammation, and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain and discomfort for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers of the rheumatology units at several hospitals gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine. After two weeks, patients on Sativex had a significant reduction in pain, and improved better sleep quality compared to placebo users.

5. Controls Epileptic seizure.

A 2003 study showed that marijuana use can control epileptic seizure.

Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs stopped the seizures in about 10 hours. It is found out that the THC controlled the seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation. The results were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

6. Eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.

Weed works to stop the negative neurological effects and muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association suggests that marijuana may ease painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Jody Cory Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other medications, but after smoking marijuana for few days, they reported that they were in less pain. The THC in the pot bonds the receptors in the nerves and and muscles to relieve pain.

7. Soothes tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Recent studies from Israel shows that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. What was impressive about the research was the improvement of the fine motor skills among patients.

Israel has made medical marijuana legal, and a lot of research into the medical uses of weed is done there, supported by the Israeli Government.

8. Helps with Crohn’s disease.

Cannabis can cure Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and more. But a recent study in Israel showed that smoking a joint considerably reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients, and caused a complete cancellation ofthe disease in five of those patients.

Of course, this is a small study, but other researches have shown similar results. The cannabinoids from cannabis seem to help the gut control bacteria and intestinal function.

9. Decreases the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome.

Dravet Syndrome causes seizures and severe developmental delays. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, renowned chief medical correspondent for CNN, is treating a five years old girl, Charlotte Figi, who has Dravet’s Syndrome, with medical marijuana strain high in cannabidiol and low in THC.

During the research for his documentary “WEED”, Gupta interviewed the Figi family, and according to the film, the drug decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days. Forty other children are using the same medication, and it has helped them too. The doctors who are recommending this medication say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activities in the brain that causes the seizures.

10. Lessens side effects from treating Hepatitis C, and increases treatment effectiveness.

Treating Hepatitis C infection has severe side effects, so severe that many people are unable to continue their treatment. Side effects range from fatigue, nausea, muscle pains, loss of appetite, and depression- and they last for months.

But, pot to the rescue: A 2006 study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology discovered that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully finished their therapies, while only 29% of the non-smokers completed their treatments, maybe because marijuana helps to lessen the treatments’ side effects. Cannabis also helps to improve the treatment’s effectiveness. 54% of the Hep C patients smoking marijuana got their viral levels low, and kept them low, compared to the only 8% of the non-smokers.

11. Decreases anxiety.

In 2010, researchers at Harvard University suggested that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses.

Beware, though, higher doses may increase anxiety and make you paranoid.

12. Helps reverse the carcinogen effects of tobacco, and improve lung health.

In January 2012, a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association showed that marijuana improved lung functions, and even increased lung capacity. Researchers looking for risks factors of heart disease, tested on 5,115 young adults, over the period of 20 years, and found out that only pot users showed an increase in lung capacity, compared to the tobacco smokers who lost lung function over time.

It is believed that the increased lung capacity is due to the deep breaths taken while inhaling the drug, and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.

13. Reduces severe pain, and nausea from chemo, and stimulates appetite.

One of the most common uses of medical marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy. Cancer patients going through chemo suffer from severe pains, painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can lead to further health complications.

Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, reducing pain, decreasing nausea, and stirring up the appetite. Also, there are other FDA approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, for the same purposes.

14. Improves symptoms of Lupus, an autoimmune disorder.

Medical marijuana is used to treat the autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupus Ertyhematosus, which is when the body starts attacking itself for unknown reasons.

It is believed that some chemicals present in cannabis is responsible to calm the immune system, which maybe the reason to help deal with symptoms of Lupus. The rest of the positive impact of the marijuana is probably from the effects of the pain and nausea.

15. Protects brain after a stroke.

Research (done on rats, mice, and monkeys) from University of Nottingham shows that cannabis may help protect the brain from damage caused by a stroke by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke.

This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events like concussions.

16. Helps veterans suffering from PTSD

Marijuana is approved to treat PTSD in some states in America. In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time U.S. Government’s The Department of Health and Human Services has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporised marijuana.

Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help control the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.

17. Controls other types of muscle spasms.

Other types of muscle spasms respond to marijuana too. Another of Dr. Gupta’s patient, Chaz, has a condition called myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter (also known as Leeuwenhoek’s Disease). This causes non stop spasming in the abdominal muscles which are not only painful, but interfere with breathing and speaking. Chaz has been using medical marijuana to treat this disease because other very strong medications were unable to treat him properly.

Smoking marijuana is able to calm to calm the attacks almost immediately, relaxing the mucles of the diaphragm also.

18. Treats inflammatary bowel diseases.

Just like Crohn’s disease, patients with other inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis could benefit from marijuana use, studies suggest.

In 2010, University of Nottingham researchers have found that chemicals in marijuana, including THC, and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play an important role in gut function, and immune system.  THC like chemicals made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in. The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, stopping this permeability, and making the intestinal bond tighter together.

19. Helps eliminate nightmares.

This is a bit complicated because it involves both positive and negative effects. Marijuana disturbs the sleep cycle by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep.

However, people who suffer from serious nightmares, especially patients with PTSD, this can be helpful. Nightmares and other dreams occur during those same stages of sleep. By interrupting REM sleep, many of those dreams may not occur. Research using a synthetic cannabinoid, like THC, showed a decrease in the number of nightmares in patients with PTSD. Marijuana maybe a better sleep aid than some other medications or even alcohol because the latter two may potentially have worse effects on sleep, though more research is needed on the topic.

20. Protects the brain from concussion, and trauma.

A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed possibilities that marijuana can help heal the brain after a concussion, or other traumatic injury. In the journal it was said that the experiments were done on mice, and that marijuana lessened the bruising of the brain, and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.

Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall, saying that NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and instead should fund for research on marijuana plant’s ability to protect the brain. In the open letter, he writes, “Already many doctors and researchers believe that marijuana has incredibly powerful neuroprotective properties, an understanding based on both laboratory, and clinical data.”

In response, Goodall recently mentioned that he’d consider permitting athletes to use marijuana if medical research shows that it’s an effective neuroprotective agent.

These 20 medical benefits of marijuana are among the countless benefits this plant has. It is still puzzling how medical marijuana is still not legal in most of the country, and still retains such a negative reputation. Hopefully in the near future, medical science continues to prove its benefits in more fields, and make this plant a famous cure for all major kinds of ailments.




Parkinson’s disease: Could the answer lie in mitochondria of dopamine cells?

Researchers in Norway suggest that an answer to what causes Parkinson’s disease may lie in the mitochondria – the tiny powerhouses inside cells – of dopamine-producing cells. They found that dopamine cells in diseased brains are less able to protect against aging-related damage in their mitochondrial DNA than cells in healthy brains.

Study leader Dr. Charalampos Tzoulis – a neurologist at the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital, both in Norway – and colleagues hope that the discovery will lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. They report the findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Parkinson’s is a progressive, brainwasting disease that affects movement and can manifest as a range of symptoms, including: muscle rigidity; speech problems; tremors in the hands, limbs, jaw, and face; and impaired posture, gait, and balance.

Despite decades of research, the exact causes of Parkinson’s disease remain a mystery. Experts generally agree that a combination of genetic and environmental factors – both of which vary from person to person – are involved.

An important known risk factor is age. The estimated risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is 2-4 percent for people aged 60 and over, compared with 1-2 percent in the general population.

The disease mainly affects dopamine-producing neurons or nerve cells in a brain structure known as the substantia nigra. As the disease progresses, these cells malfunction and die, depleting levels of dopamine, a chemical messenger that plays an important role in controlling movement.

Many scientists believe that a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the destruction of dopamine cells could lead to treatments that stop or even reverse Parkinson’s disease.

Aging-related mitochondrial DNA damage

For their study, Dr. Tzoulis and colleagues focused on the mitochondria of dopamine-producing cells. Mitochondria are tiny compartments inside cells that act as powerhouses; they digest nutrients and produce energy-rich molecules for the cell.

Fast facts about Parkinson’s disease

  • Worldwide, more than 10 million people are affected by Parkinson’s disease
  • Around 60,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States
  • Thousands more go undetected.


Mitochondria have their own DNA, separate from the DNA in the cell nucleus, that contains code for building the powerhouses. Dr. Tzoulis explains:

“It is known that the DNA of mitochondria is damaged during aging, causing failure in the power generators, lack of energy, and disease.”

The researchers conducted a detailed investigation of mitochondrial DNA in the brains of healthy older people and individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

They found that the dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra of the healthy brains were able to protect against aging-induced damage to their mitochondrial DNA by producing more healthy DNA.

This replenishment process was much weaker in the diseased brains, resulting in a gradual loss of healthy DNA in the mitochondria of their dopamine cells.

Dr. Tzoulis says he believes that the discovery reveals an important mechanism that normally defends the brain against aging-induced damage. This mechanism appears to malfunction in people who develop Parkinson’s disease, leaving their brains more susceptible to the effects of aging. He concludes:

“There is generally very little knowledge about the mechanisms causing Parkinson’s disease. Now, we are a step closer to understanding these mechanisms and we may have a target to strike at for therapy.”



11-Year-Old Invents Cup So Grandfather With Parkinson’s Disease Doesn’t Have to Worry About Spilling

When Lily Born noticed her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease, had difficulty drinking from a cup without spilling, she didn’t sit by and watch the problem persist. She took action.


Lily, then 8, asked her dad what it would take to make a cup with legs for her grandpa. This way, she thought, spilling would be far less likely. So Lily made a plastic cup with legs. A year later, she recreated the design with a ceramic cup she made in pottery class. At this point, her dad, Joe, realized the potential in his daughter’s invention. He asked Lily if she would like to try to bring the cup to production. Her answer, of course, was yes.

This is how the Kangaroo Cup was born.


Because the ceramic cup can break easily, Lily and her dad have developed a new, plastic version. They’re currently raising money to bring this cup to production.

“This campaign is not just about bringing a product to production,” Joe Born wrote on the Kangaroo Cup’s fundraising page. “It is about sending a message to every parent and every kid with an invention (which is just about every kid) that in history’s blink of an eye, we suddenly find ourselves living in a world where that dream can be made real.”




Statin Use Linked to Increased Parkinson’s Disease Risk

New findings from a large national claims database show the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to be associated with an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease (PD), contrary to previous research suggesting the drugs have a protective effect for PD.

“We identified 20,000 Parkinson’s disease patients and looked at whether using statins was associated with a higher or lower risk, and we found people using statins have a higher risk of the disease, so this is the opposite of what has been hypothesized,” senior author Xuemei Huang, MD, PhD, vice chair for research at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News.

While high cholesterol has been shown to have a protective effect on the risk for PD, the role of statin use has been the subject of debate.

Among studies supporting a benefits was research published in 2012 in the Archives of Neurology showing a “modest Parkinson’s disease reduction” with the use of statins.

In looking at the issue in a previous study of their own, Dr Huang and colleagues in fact found an increased risk associated with statin use, and they sought in the new study to further explore the association in a much larger cohort.

For the new study, presented here at the American Neurological Association (ANA) 2016 Annual Meeting, the researchers turned to data from the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database, including information on 30,343,035 persons aged 40 to 65 years between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012.

Of the subjects, 21,559 were identified as having PD on the basis of criteria of having a primary or secondary diagnosis, using anti-Parkinson’s medication, or having deep-brain stimulation surgery.

In the cross-sectional analysis, the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, including statins or nonstatins, was associated with a significantly higher prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (odds ratio [OR], 1.61 – 1.67; P < .0001) after adjustment for age, sex, and other comorbidities, such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

For a comparative neurodegenerative group, the researchers also looked at the association of statin with diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease but found only a minimal association (OR, 1.01 – 1.12; P = .055).

The associations of cholesterol-lowering medications with PD were strongest among patients with hyperlipidemia, and there were no significant differences between lipophilic or hydrophilic statins, as well as the other nonstatin cholesterol-lowering drugs, in their effect on PD risk.

“We know that overall weight of the literature favors that higher cholesterol is associated with beneficial outcomes in Parkinson’s disease, so it’s possible that statins take away that protection by treating the high cholesterol,” Dr Huang explained.

“Another possibility is that statins can block not only the cholesterol synthesis but also synthesis of coenzyme Q10 that is essential for cell function.”

The researchers also stratified persons according to how long they had been receiving treatment by using a lagged matched case-control analysis of 2458 pairs of PD cases and controls.

In the cross-sectional analysis, both statins and nonstatin cholesterol-lowering drugs were associated with PD, but in the lagged case-control analysis of treatment duration, only statins remained significantly associated with PD risk.

The highest risk was linked to the earlier period after starting statins (OR, 1.93 for less than 1 year of use; 1.83 for 1 to 2.5 years; and 1.37 for 2.5 years or more; P trend < .0001).

“The increased risk of Parkinson’s is more likely when statins are first used, so we think it could be that the statins ‘unmasked’ Parkinson’s,” Dr. Huang said. “Namely, people may be already on the way to Parkinson’s and when they use statins to control the high cholesterol, it gives Parkinson’s a push to reveal its clinical symptoms.

“Based on this data, we think caution should be taken before advancing statins to be protective of Parkinson’s disease,” she added. “The data are not clear yet.”

A meta-analysis published earlier this year in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safetysuggests that one reason for the inconsistencies in evidence of the role of statins is that many studies fail to adjust for cholesterol levels.

In that report, studies that did not make the adjustment showed a protective effect of statins (relative risk, 0.75), but those that did adjust for cholesterol or hyperlipidemia showed no protective effect: Those adjusting for hyperlipidemia had a relative risk of 0.91, and for cholesterol, the relative risk was 1.04.

“The apparent protective effect of statins on risk of Parkinson’s disease is at least partially explained by confounding by statin indication,” the authors said.

In addition, a separate meta-analysis published in the Journal of Neurology in 2013 suggested that there is a significant publication bias in recent literature toward reporting protective effects of statins in PD.

“The current study is one of very few studies reporting potential negative effects of statin in Parkinson’s disease,” Dr Huang noted.




Foods That Fight Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease may first cause tremors in one of your hands. Over time, the central nervous system disease progresses, causing slowed mobility and stiffness as nerve cells in your brain begin to break down and diminish. It affects women and men equally, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), typically after age 60. While no known cure exists, medications and a healthy diet may help reduce your symptoms, prevent potential complications and improve your quality of life.

Flaxseed, Walnuts and Canola Oil

Flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil are top plant-derived sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential fats that play an important role in brain function. Although research is limited and inconclusive, according to a report published in the November 2007 issue of the journal, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, there is reason to hope that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent or reduce the negative effects of disorders affecting the brain, including Parkinson’s disease. Consume ground flaxseed over whole seed for optimum absorption. Whole flaxseed, however, may help reduce constipation, which is common among people with Parkinson’s disease. Eat ground flaxseed and walnuts on their own or as nutritious additions to yogurt, cereals and baked goods. Canola oil provides a heart-healthy alternative to less healthy fat sources, such as butter, margarine and shortening.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are top sources of antioxidants, which are nutrients that boost your body’s ability to defend itself against infections and disease. Although additional research is needed, according to the UMMC, increasing your intake of antioxidants vitamins C and E may help lower your need for Parkinson’s disease medications. Fruits and vegetables particularly high in vitamin C include red and green bell peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and winter squash. Avocados, blackberries, guava, mango, papaya, Swiss chard, pumpkin, parsnips and potatoes provide ample vitamin E.

Dairy Products

Parkinson’s disease often coexists with osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle, fracture-prone bones. Because Parkinson’s disease alone increases your risk for painful falls and injuries, consuming sufficient amounts of the bone-strengthening nutrients calcium and vitamin D is vital, according to Karol Traviss, dietitian for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Most often choose dairy-based calcium sources, which your body may utilize more efficiently than soy or other nondairy sources. Valuable options include low-fat milk, yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese.

Coffee and Caffeine

Coffee and caffeine may help prevent loss of the brain chemical dopamine, which tends to deteriorate with the incidence of Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, the UMMC recommends consuming coffee and other caffeine sources, including black and green teas, chocolate and decaffeinated coffee, which contains trace amounts of the stimulant. Because excessive caffeine intake can increase tremors, sleep problems and calcium loss, stick to modest amounts. If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, discuss proper intake with your doctor.



Parkinson’s disease protection may begin in the gut

University of Iowa researchers have found that the gut may be key to preventing Parkinson’s disease. Cells located in the intestine spark an immune response that protects nerve cells, or neurons, against damage connected with Parkinson’s disease. Acting like detectives, the immune intestinal cells identify damaged machinery within neurons and discard the defective parts. That action ultimately preserves neurons whose impairment or death is known to cause Parkinson’s.
Credit: Illustration courtesy of Veena Prahlad

Your gut may play a pivotal role in preventing the onset of Parkinson’s disease. And the reason may be its knack for sleuthing.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that the gut may be key to preventing Parkinson’s disease. Cells located in the intestine spark an immune response that protects nerve cells, or neurons, against damage connected with Parkinson’s disease. Acting like detectives, the immune intestinal cells identify damaged machinery within neurons and discard the defective parts. That action ultimately preserves neurons whose impairment or death is known to cause Parkinson’s.

“We think somehow the gut is protecting neurons,” says Veena Prahlad, assistant professor in biology at the UI and corresponding author on the paper published Aug. 30 in the journal Cell Reports.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that erodes motor control and balance over time. It affects some 500,000 people in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. The disease occurs when neurons — nerve cells — in the brain that control movement become impaired or die. Normally, these neurons produce dopamine, and when they are damaged or killed, the resulting dopamine shortage causes the motor-control problems associated with the disease.

Scientists have previously linked Parkinson’s to defects in mitochondria, the energy-producing machinery found in every human cell. Why and how mitochondrial defects effect neurons remain a mystery. Some think the impaired mitochondria starve neurons of energy; others believe they produce a neuron-harming molecule. Whatever the answer, damaged mitochondria have been linked to other nervous disorders as well, including ALS and Alzheimer’s, and researchers want to understand why.

Prahlad’s team exposed roundworms to a poison called rotenone, which researchers know kills neurons whose death is linked to Parkinson’s. As expected, the rotenone began damaging the mitochondria in the worms’ neurons. To the researchers’ surprise, though, the damaged mitochondria did not kill all of the worms’ dopamine-producing neurons; in fact, over a series of trials, an average of only seven percent of the worms, roughly 210 out of 3,000, lost dopamine-producing neurons when given the poison.

“That seemed intriguing, and we wondered whether there was some innate mechanism to protect the animal from the rotenone,” Prahlad says.

It turns out there was. The roundworms’ immune defenses, activated when the rotenone was introduced, discarded many of the defected mitochondria, halting a sequence that would’ve led to the loss of dopamine-producing neurons. Importantly, the immune response originated in the intestine, not the nervous system.

“If we can understand how this is done in the roundworm, we can understand how this may happen in mammals,” Prahlad says.

The researchers plan to conduct more experiments, but they’ve got some interesting hypotheses. One is the intestinal immune cells are, according to Prahlad, “constantly surveilling mitochondria for defects.”

Even more, those cellular watchdogs may be keeping their eyes on the mitochondria “because they don’t trust them,” Prahlad suggests. The reason has to do with the prevailing theory that mitochondria originated independently as a type of bacterium and were only later incorporated into the cells of animal, plants, and fungi as an energy producer.

If that theory is correct, the intestinal immune responders may be especially sensitive to changes in mitochondrial function not only for its potential damaging effects, but because of the mitochondria’s ancient and foreign past as well.

“How it’s happening is suggestive of the possibility that the innate immune response is constantly checking its mitochondria,” Prahlad says, “perhaps because of the bacterial origin of the mitochondria.”



Scientists Zero in on Brain Area Linked to ‘ Parkinson’s Disease Gait’

Discovery could lead to new treatments for the disease’s jerky, unbalanced walking, researchers say

The brain’s prefrontal cortex may play a role in walking difficulties that afflict Parkinson’s disease patients, new research suggests.

The prefrontal cortex is involved in cognitive function, which includes thinking, reasoning and remembering.

This new finding is a new approach in understanding these walking problems and may lead to new treatments, according to the researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive movement disorder. Patients often walk with a shuffle, their steps alternately slow and fast. Sometimes, they freeze in place. Together, these symptoms are known as “Parkinson’s gait.” Along with reducing patients’ mobility, impaired walking can lead to dangerous falls.

Parkinson’s patients were asked by the researchers to walk and do a mental task — such as naming fruits or doing subtraction — at the same time. As they did, their walking was slower and less stable than when they walked without doing a mental task.

This suggests that cognitive resources in use while they walk play a role in walking difficulties experienced by Parkinson’s patients, according to the researchers.

Brain scans of Parkinson’s patients showed that the prefrontal cortex was activated even when patients just imagined they were walking.

“The overactivation of the prefrontal cortex has a two-pronged effect in Parkinson’s patients. Because the prefrontal cortex is ‘saturated,’ it is unable to perform other tasks, impairing gait and creating cognitive deficits. The debilitation is twofold,” said study co-leader Anat Mirelman, a researcher in the department of neurology.

Study co-leader Jeffrey Hausdorff is a professor of medicine. “The increased activation during normal walking curtails the ability of Parkinson’s patients to recruit further cognitive resources during other challenging tasks. It may even exacerbate the high risk of falling in these patients,” he said in a university news release.

The findings were published recently in the journals Parkinsonism and Related Disordersand Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.



Martin Shkreli “Diagnoses” Hillary Clinton With Parkinson’s Disease

No, Hillary does not have Parkinson’s…or syphilis…or autism. Not unless you believe this wingnut who cites Martin Shkreli as his only medical source.

Hillary Clinton supposedly has Parkinson’s disease, syphilis, brain damage, a brain tumor, autism, a degenerative disease that is giving her seizures and/or strokes, and a blood clot, according to InfoWars writer Paul Joseph Watson. Oh, and he says she has a drug problem.

All of these diagnoses—save for Parkinson’s, which commanded a separate full-length article—came in a single one of Watson’s YouTube videos released on Thursday. It now has over 1.6 million views at press time.

“Weird seizures. Psychotic facial tics. Over-exaggerated reactions. Coughing fits. Strange lesions on her tongue. Is Hillary on the verge of a mental breakdown due to stress, or are her strange outbursts linked to a medical condition?” Watson posits.

Watson’s compendium of illnesses began on the fringe and quickly made its way into the talking points of Trump surrogates over the weekend. The Drudge Report posted a photo of Clinton tripping up the stairs above the tagline “2016: Hillary Conquers the Stairs,” along with references to a blood clot in 2012 and a broken elbow in 2009. The photo, which went unnoticed at the time, was taken in February.

The National Enquirer posted a story dubbed “Hillary Clinton’s Secret Health Crisis” on Monday. Donald Trump said in March that “you can’t knock the National Enquirer” when the tabloid aimed to tie Ted Cruz’s father to the JFK assassination, and the GOP candidate has written op-eds for the paper in the past.

By midday on Monday, the No. 2 trending Google search about Hillary Clinton was: “Is Hillary having health problems?”

Fox News’ Sean Hannity devoted a section of his program to the rumors of bad health Monday night. CNN’s Jeffrey Lord then doubled down on national TV, saying that “Donald Trump is willing to point out other things people have been pointing out for years” when asked about Clinton’s health.

Those “people” are, in this case, writers like Watson, who certainly isn’t the first to question Hillary’s health in the last few months—Trump supporters have created YouTube compilations of each time she’s coughed at campaign events—but is one of the most prominent. Watson is a writer at InfoWars and sometimes cohost of InfoWars’ creator Alex Jones’ radio and YouTube shows. His own offshoot website, PrisonPlanet, runs a YouTube channel with nearly a half-million subscribers.

Within minutes of posting to Youtube, Watson’s video was at the top of /r/The_Donald, a heavily moderated Reddit community that serves as a clearinghouse for pro-Trump talking points and conspiracies against Clinton. Since Trump’s Ask Me Anything Q-and-A on the subreddit two weeks ago (in which thousands of users were banned for asking policy questions), the site has been overrun with conspiracy theories about how “FRAIL HILLARY” is “PHYSICALLY UNFIT” for the presidency.

When asked if Clinton could really have all of the diseases that he claims she is currently fighting, Watson told The Daily Beast via email that he wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know what she has, I am not a neurologist or a psychiatrist, I merely pointed to the statements of people who are,” he wrote. “Several of them have argued that Hillary is physically sick, while virtually everyone who has the guts to talk about how Hillary behaves in private says she acts like a sociopath, has no emotions, is completely cold, rude and is supremely arrogant.”

Isn’t this, then, the equivalent of WebMD’ing yourself for perceived symptoms and coming up with the wildest fantasy imaginable?

“I didn’t ‘WedMD’ anything. I spoke to health experts in private and I collated statements made by health professionals that were already part of the public record,” he said.

One of the rare “experts” Watson cites on record is Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive who raised the price of the lifesaving HIV drug Daraprim by over 5,000 percent overnight and is currently out on bail after being indicted on charges of securities fraud.

Shkreli, who resigned as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals in December, is the lone source in the article “Pharmaceutical Exec: Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease.” Shkreli does not have a medical degree, but does have a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Baruch College.

Watson’s article appeared on InfoWars.com, which has run with a series of conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health this week. Stories like “Proof Hillary Clinton Unfit to Be President,” “Hillary Loses It—Seems Like Momentary Blackout or Dizzy Spell” and “Hillary Clinton Is Disintegrating Before Our Eyes” littered Infowars’ homepage on Tuesday.

In December, Donald Trump appeared on a video podcast for InfoWars, which regularly publishes stories alleging that mass shooting events like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are elaborate ploys by the government to take away America’s guns.

“Your reputation’s amazing. I will not let you down,” Trump told InfoWars’ Alex Jones. “You will be very, very impressed, I hope. I think we’ll be speaking a lot.”

Watson does, in fact, cite a real health problem for which Clinton was hospitalized four years ago.

“I also highlighted the fact that Hillary admittedly had significant health problems back in 2012,” Watson said.

Clinton suffered from a blood clot in December of 2012, from which doctors say she fully recovered after surgery. At the time of the surgery, both GOP campaign strategist Karl Rove and noted pro-Trump ally and conspiracy theorist Roger Stone immediately seized on the blood clot as proof she wouldn’t or shouldn’t run for president.

“@HillaryClinton not running for health reasons,” Stone tweeted in 2012. “Remember you heard it first from the#StoneZone.” This week, Stone said that Clinton and her aideHuma Abedin are connected to the 9/11 attacks.

New rumors began popping up about the fitness of candidates on both sides of the aisle over the weekend. While prominent rightwing blog Gateway Pundit guessed that Hillary Clinton was somehow covertly injected with a Diazepam pen to control a seizure during one of her speeches (Secret Service agents were really stepping onto the stage to protect against a protester), comedian Patton Oswalt shared a story about speaking with a therapist friend who claimed Trump has borderline personality disorder.

“I would suggest that Hillary is more of a sociopath than Trump,” Watson wrote. ”Trump may be an egomaniac, but he didn’t support policies in Iraq, Libya and Syria that led to the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, three failed states and an international migrant crisis. And he didn’t laugh about it on video either.”

Of course, Trump supported military intervention in both Iraq and Libya long before he didn’t.

But, to Watson, those facts are just part of the establishment conspiracy to take down Trump.

After all, last Thursday, Watson published an InfoWars article dubbed “New Establishment Smear Campaign to Declare Trump ‘Mentally Unfit’ to Be President.’

His very next story? “Experts: Hillary Is a Sociopath and Could Have Brain Damage.” That expert is not named in the article.


The Lesson You’ve Taught Me, Daddy, as You Fight Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

maddie petersil and her dad on a couchDear Dad,

I’m writing you this letter to tell you what I’ve learned — what you’ve taught me. The powerful stuff, the stuff that resonates deeply and entirely. Some of it I know was intentional, while another aspect of it I know wasn’t. You didn’t ask to get sick or to be on hospice at 53 years young. Parkinson’s disease andLewy body dementia began taking your life away from you nine years ago. Yet, you’re still hanging on. Your body has deteriorated to practically just skin and bones, you’ve lost all control of that body and the ability to function as any seemingly healthy individual should. I’m not sure if you know who I am, but I do know that you sometimes burst into the biggest grin when you hear my obnoxious, cackling laugh (I’m talking shaking the windows, shaking the doors, get-everyone-ear-plugs-stat laugh… you know the one) — and that is everything to me. Maybe that’s why you’re holding on, because you know we’re still here… I don’t know…

What I do know, however, is that I think about you every day, and while, yes, many of those moments fill me with sadness and longing, I’ve been teaching myself to reflect peacefully, happily and contently. Don’t get me wrong — even in those sad moments, love never ceases, but I have found there is a difference — a difference, at least, in my personal perception of how that love feels.

As I’ve been on a journey the last several weeks to find inner peace with myself, work with my own chronic illness and all that comes with it, learn to cope better with stress, honor and trust myself and my intentions, and to find happiness with where I am presently, I’ve gained some perspective. Love shadowed with sadness presents itself negatively — like love shadowed with anger, regret, heartbreak… you name it. There’s always some kind of negative connotation associated with that love. And I’ve realized, Daddy, that I don’t want there to be any kind of negative energy surrounding my memory of you. You bring warmth to my heart and a feeling of calmness to my mind and soul. It’s those feelings, all that good love, that I want to hold onto forever.

Sure, I may be crying as I write this… because it’s powerful. This insane path you, Mom, Lauren and I found ourselves on in 2007 is just that… insane. It has been the farthest thing from fair, just, or any rational or “normal” existence we hoped to live. But with that, your love has kept me afloat. And Dad, that is the most potent, influential, palpable, touching, beautiful, flawlessly incredible lesson you taught me. And it sounds so simple and obvious — love.

It’s something I’d forgotten, grieving you for all those years, watching you deteriorate in front of my eyes. It’s often easy to forget the good stuff. Over the past several years, I feel as if I’ve spent more time reflecting on the bad stuff, the icky times, the awful times (I wonder why that is?). But today, Daddy, I choose love over everything. I choose to remember that dorky ear-to-ear grin that crinkled your eyes, your tender, warm bear hugs, the silent yet wonderfully expressive look of adoration, support and pride on your face when I’d walk out at the end of a performance. Love, Dad, has been the greatest gift you’ve given me, and the greatest lesson you’ve taught me; really, the greatest gift and lesson we can all give to each other. Because with love should come respect, support, trust, encouragement, compassion and adventure (and boy, did we have our fill of that! River rafting, camping, traveling…) — things we all need to get through the day.

Positivity, too, follows love. The good stuff. And though it can be very difficult at times (challenging, in fact, to the nth degree), I’ve made a promise to myself, and now to you in this letter, to continue growing in this positive light and to spread the love you’ve given so very much of — the love I have been blessed to receive. The gratitude I have for you, Dad, is unending. Pure, wholesome gratitude.

Your love literally created my being and shaped me into the woman I am today. I feel strong because of you, I feel empowered because I have your love coursing through my body and soul. I will continue to smile for you, I will continue to laugh for you, I will continue to love with you in mind.

You are an exemplary man and a gift. And I’m honored to be your daughter.

I love you the most,

Your Maddie Claire Boo-Boo Bear