Category: Parkinson’s Disease


Gut Inflammation Affects the Brain

The fundamental mechanism that underlies such seemingly disparate issues as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and various other neurodegenerative conditions, is the process of inflammation. As you will note, this has been a central theme in my recent lectures, television programs, as well as books, as this is what current science is strongly supporting.

But it now looks as if this process, inflammation, may actually begin in the gut and subsequently affect the brain as a downstream mechanism. In a submission to the Journal of Neuroinflammation, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reported on a fascinating experiment.

Using a laboratory mouse, they administered a chemical, dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), into the drinking water of some of the animals. They then examined the brains of these animals at various times up to 26 days after the chemical was placed in the water. DSS specifically causes gut inflammation. Continue reading

Why Lifestyle Choices Matter for Health

Why Lifestyle Choices Matter for Health

What my work, in Brain Maker and Grain Brain, boils down to, is giving you a lifestyle plan that you can follow to cause optimal health. Why do these factors matter? Why are these the choices you should make? Simple: because this is the best way to fight and reduce inflammation, the cornerstone player in diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.

Sulforaphane Improves Autism Symptoms

Normally, I would be sharing a new blog post with you today. In fact, I already had one lined up about the link between antidepressants and weight gain (which I hope you’ll check back for in a few days). However, just this week a press release from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found its way to my inbox, and I was so caught by the results of the study they reported, that I want to immediately share it with all of you. What this study means for the treatment of autism is groundbreaking. 

Read MGH’s press release below, copied in its entirety, and view the original study here, for your reference. You can learn more about sulforaphane, the subject of this groundbreaking research as it relates to Parkinson’s disease, in this 2013 study.

BOSTON – A small study led by investigators at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found evidence that daily treatment with sulforaphane – a molecule found in foods such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage – may improve some symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. In their report being published online in PNAS Early Edition, the investigators describe how participants receiving a daily dose of sulforaphane showed improvement in both behavioral and communication assessments in as little as four weeks.

The authors stress that the results of this pilot study – conducted at the MGHfC-affiliated Lurie Center for Autism – must be confirmed in larger investigations before any conclusions can be drawn about sulforaphane’s therapeutic benefit. “Over the years there have been several anecdotal reports that children with autism can have improvements in social interaction and sometimes language skills when they have a fever,” explains Andrew Zimmerman, MD, a co-corresponding author of the current report who also published a 2007 paper documenting the fever effect. “We investigated what might be behind that on a cellular level and postulated that it results from fever’s activation of the cellular stress response, in which protective cellular mechanisms that are usually held in reserve are turned on through activation of gene transcription.” Affiliated with the MGHfC Department of Neurology, Zimmerman is now based at UMass Memorial Medical Center.  Continue reading

If You Want To Lower Your Risk For Parkinson’s, Drop The Cookie

We are hearing more and more about Parkinson’s disease, Especially lately after the death of Robin Williams. It has been estimated that as many as 1 million Americans now carry this diagnosis, And to put it into perspective, this is a number that is larger than the combined number of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.

An incredible 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, and it is a disease for which there is no meaningful treatment. Certainly, there are medications that are used fairly effectively to reduce the symptoms of this disease, like tremor and rigidity. But again, as stated, there is no meaningful treatment available now or in the foreseeable future.

Having said that, it makes very good sense therefore, to explore the notion of prevention as it relates to Parkinson’s disease. It is in this context that we take a look at a recent publication in the journal, Diabetes Care. In this report, 1565 Parkinson’s patients were evaluated and it was determined that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was an astounding 40% higher among diabetic patients compared to those without diabetes.

Continue reading

An Important Supplement for Parkinson’s Patients

An Important Supplement for Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s disease – a progressive disorder of the nervous system – is a debilitating illness that affects thousands of Americans. Unfortunately, when many patients come to me explaining what medications they are taking for this disease and I learn that they are treating the symptoms and not the underlying illness.

New science is increasingly pointing to the benefits of CoQ10 as a treatment for Parkinson’s. Learn how we can treat the fire, as well as the smoke.

Parkinson’s – Focus On Prevention

Parkinson’s – Focus On Prevention

Parkinson’s Disease affects as many as one million Americans with around 60,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Worldwide, more than 10 million people have been diagnosed with this debilitating and progressive disease. It is estimated that the direct and indirect monetary costs for dealing with Parkinson’s in America are estimated to be around $25 billion each year.

In general, the approach that is taken in most neurology practices in dealing with Parkinson’s is to simply treat the symptoms of the disease. Not this this is necessarily inappropriate – it’s obviously helpful to use medications that allow people to regain functionality. But there is hardly any discussion of the notion of preventive medicine as it relates to this disease.

That said, we really do need to recognize that our most well-respected medical journals are revealing that things like pesticide exposure have a profound role to play in increasing a person’s risk for Parkinson’s. Please take a look at this report and recognize that information like this really makes it clear that our lifestyle choices do indeed play an important role in choosing your brain’s destiny