The degenerative condition known as Parkinson's disease affects the nervous system-it is also the most common disorder among all the existing degenerative conditions worldwide, it induces great debilitation and is considered a major disease across the world. The disease is commonly associated with older individuals, affecting a little more than fifteen percent of those who are over sixty five years of age and the disease usually affects people older than sixty. As a demographic group, the majority of patients are men and the number of female patients is relatively less. The symptoms of the disease progresses gradually and worsens in intensity over time, even though the earliest symptoms are commonly mild-the disease does not cripple those it afflicts suddenly but is more subtle in its debilitating effects.
The transmission of nervous impulses in the brain is affected during Parkinson's disease. The neurotransmitter dopamine is a compound produced in the cells of an area in the brain known as the basal ganglia-the cells here gradually die as the disease progresses and the degraded cells stop producing the chemical dopamine-once the levels of this chemical fall steeply, nervous transmission of messages is affected and the patient loses control over his or her body. The typical physical symptoms include progressive stiffness in the body, persistent shaking, and a gradual and complete loss of muscular coordination-this is because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the rest of the body. The actual underlying reasons for the disorder remains unknown, even though it is believed that some viral brain infections, the long term use of antipsychotic medications, and even the exposure of individuals to certain herbicides or toxins may be the causative factors in some cases-though such incidences are rare.
Supplements and herbs
Medical care and constant clinical supervision is required for any individual who suffers from this serious ailment-the relatives of the patient must contact a doctor as soon as the earliest signs or physical symptoms begin to become recognizable. When used during the earliest phases of the disease's progressions, all the various compounds and supplements given here will be helpful in tempering or slowing down the progression of physical symptoms, they may be able to help reduce the intensity of symptoms at a later stage as well-but the results obtained are the best when these supplements are used in the early stages of the condition. All the supplements must be continually used in the long term, and any results will become noticeable in about eight weeks-the use of supplements has to be life long as there is no ultimate cure for the condition and the only remedy is to reduce the intensity of symptoms. A doctor must be consulted if the patient intends to use any of these supplements and the supplements can be used separately or they can be used in combinations. The disease is treated using a variety of prescription drugs and some supplements, such as the nutrient vitamin B6, are known to react adversely when used along with these medications-patients must avoid the risk of such side effects by consulting with a doctor in advance if they intend to use supplements.
The way the majority of these supplements function is that they bring on an increase in the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine; this includes supplements of the vitamin B6. For example, the amounts of the B vitamin-B6 is known to be low in those suffering from Parkinson's, whether there is a connection between dopamine levels and the levels of the vitamin B6 has not been determined. Cellular machinery and tissues within the body is protected by the antioxidant action of supplements such as the coenzyme Q10, the compound NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is related to the B vitamin (niacin), along with supplements like the vitamin E and the vitamin C-this antioxidant effect of the supplements will also help protect the dopamine manufacturing cells in the brain. In particular, those patients who have not begun using conventional medications, supplements of the vitamins C and E may be particularly effective in achieving some reduction in the early symptoms induced by the disorder. Dopamine levels in the brain can also be increased by supplemental use of the various amino acids along with the oil of the flaxseed herb-these supplements have an ability to nourish the nerves and nervous tissues within the brain. Mental functioning can be improved and preserved by supplements of the compound phosphatidylserine; the use of this compound will also help combat depression in people who are already seeing effects of the disease. Supplements of the wonder herb, ginkgo biloba can be added to this supplemental mixture. The herbal extract will lead to an increase in the circulation of blood within the brain of the individual, this will affect the number of sites within the brain that the chemical dopamine is capable of reaching and the neurotransmitter may be likely to reach more centers in the body and brain because of the increase in circulation.
Additional things you may do
To prevent the incidence of disease and to bolster the body once it sets in, all patients must make sure they get a daily walk and all patients must use stretching exercises to keep their muscles well toned and strong-a healthy body is much more capable of resisting the worst effects induced by the condition. Patients survive the disease better, if they keep their minds stimulated by seeking out and finding new interests and challenges to take on. The practice of daily "mental exercises" is suggested by recent studies, actually lead to a diminishing in the symptoms and signs of the disease. All patients must also receive physical and speech therapy before the symptoms worsen to make the patient completely unable of caring for themselves. The tension and stress induced by the debilitating condition can be kept in control, through counseling sessions. The patient may also benefit from joining a local support group-in fact, anything to keep the patient busy is good for him or her. Surgical or new medicines are always being developed and the patient's doctor is the person who will have the required information-consult with a doctor.
- Flaxseed oil, one tbsp. of flaxseed oil daily. Should be taken in the morning with meal.
- Ginkgo biloba, 80 mg thrice daily.
- Vitamin B6, 50 mg thrice daily. If you take levodopa, you should not take vitamin B6.
- Vitamin C, 1,000 mg two times daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dosage.
- Vitamin E, 400 IU daily. If you take anticoagulant medications, check it with the doctor.
- Coenzyme Q10, 50 mg thrice daily. Take it with meal for best absorption.
- Amino acids, 1,000 mg methionine, 1,000 mg tyrosine; 500 mg acetyl-L-carnitine and100 mg phosphatidylserine, two times daily, without food. If there is no benefits, discontinue after two months. If there is improvement after two months, add a mixed complex of amino acid.
- NADH, 5 mg daily. Take it between food or in the morning for best effect.
Other beneficial herbs