Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease and it is increasing at an alarming rate. It is estimated that about a million Americans have Parkinson’s disease and about 10 million people have it worldwide. It is a progressive disease that to date has no cure. Treatment is aimed mainly at relieving symptoms. See our blog post from April 3, 2019 to learn more about the Parkinson’s pandemic. However, research shows that limiting the amount of dairy products in the diet, increasing consumption of fish and making sure that blood levels of uric acid are not too low can lower the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
Consuming Dairy Products Leads to a Higher Risk for Developing Parkinson’s Disease
Research shows that Parkinson’s disease is associated with the consumption of dairy products. However, no one knows for certain why consuming dairy products leads to a higher risk for getting Parkinson’s disease. A Chinese meta-analysis of 304,193 participants that included 1083 cases of Parkinson’s disease was published June 4, 2014 in the European Journal of Epidemiology. This study concluded that the risk for contracting Parkinson’s disease increased by 17% for every 200 grams a day consumption of milk and by 13% for every daily intake of 10 grams of cheese. Their results showed that consuming dairy foods like milk and cheese showed an association for an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
Dairy Products may Contain Large Amounts of Pesticides and Neurotoxic Substances
Parkinson’s disease has also been associated with exposure to environmental toxins and pesticides. Autopsies of the brains of deceased Parkinson’s patients show evidence of pesticides. One theory is that dairy products may contain large amounts of pesticides and other neurotoxic substances and this may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Uric Acid is an Anti-oxidant that can Protect the Brain Against Parkinson’s Disease
Another theory is that consuming milk and other dairy products lowers the blood levels of uric acid. Uric acid has been shown to be neuroprotective against Parkinson’s disease. Too little uric acid in the blood can raise the risk for contracting Parkinson’s disease and having a stroke. However, too much uric acid in the blood can lead to contracting gout with painful gouty arthritis, kidney and heart disease. According to a meta-analysis study published January 2013, in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, high blood levels of uric acid have an anti-oxidant effect and lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease, especially for men.
A simple blood test can test for levels of uric acid in the blood.
Normal uric acid blood levels for women are 2.4 to 6.0 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL) and for men 3.4 to 7.0 (mg/dL).
Eating Fish May Help to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
A study published April 3, 2018 in Scientific Reports showed that a kind of protein in fish, which is the most common allergen, called B-parvalbumin (PV) prevents the amyloid formation of a-synuclein, which is found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. Herring, cod, salmon and carp were found to be the best kinds of fish for achieving this.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
- Tremors (usually one-sided)
- Slow movement
- Motor function problems
- Speech problems
- Swallowing and chewing problems
- Rigid muscles
- Walking and balance problems – People with Parkinson’s have a peculiar shuffling kind of stooped over posture walk called the Parkinsonian Gait.
- Tendency for falls
- Constipation and urinary problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Inability to smell
- Mood problems
- Sometimes there are also memory problems and Lewy Body dementia
The Need for Rehabilitation in a Long-term Skilled Nursing Facility
People suffering with PD need all kinds of therapeutic treatments, as the disease causes considerable disabling motor and movement problems. If you are looking for a rehab place for yourself or your loved one, make certain that they have all the skilled therapists necessary for PD like speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and neurological therapy. The Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers expert rehabilitation and skilled nursing care at the hands of a warm and caring staff. They also have a lot of recreational activities that include music that has been shown to be beneficial to people with Parkinson’s disease.
It seems from these studies that uric acid levels should therefore be in the highest normal range for avoiding Parkinson’s, but not high enough to get gout. Dairy products should not be consumed in high amounts, especially if there is a family history of Parkinson’s disease. It may also help to consume more fish.