Early Onset Parkinson’s


early onset Parkinson'sEarly onset Parkinson’s: At our Guardian featured clinic we focus on the underlying issues and not just the symptoms.

Early onset Parkinson’s – one person in every 500 has Parkinson’s (PD). That’s about 127,000 people in the UK.

Most people who get Parkinson’s are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too. Parkinson’s disease is characterised by slow movement, muscular rigidity and resting tremor. In addition, depression, sleep disturbances and frequently dementia characterise this disease. The pathology of PD indicates a progressive loss of the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra together with the presence of Lewy bodies and alpha-synuclein. More extensive brain degeneration also occurs, from the medulla oblongata to the cerebral cortex. Inflammation has also been associated with Parkinson’s.

The development of Parkinson’s has been proposed to be due to multiple genetic and neurotoxic events that produce oxidative damage and cell death. In the case of Parkinson’s the relevant targets of toxic events are neuromelanin-containing dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra.

A case-control study indicated that multiple environmental factors and genetic background were statistically related risk factors for the disease. Prominent among these were long-term toxic exposures and trauma early in life. For example, early life exposure to brain injury, chemicals and/or infections may initiate a cyclic inflammatory process involving oxidative damage, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction and altered proteolysis that later in life results in substantia nigra neuron death.

A role for chronic infections in PD pathogenesis has been proposed. One infection found in PD that has aroused considerable interest is the presence of chronic gastrointestinal Helicobacter pylori. Indeed, treatment of this infection offers relief to late stage cachexia in PD patients receiving L-dopa. Helicobacter pylori-infected PD patients showed reduced L-dopa absorption and increased clinical disability, whereas treatment of this infection increased L-dopa absorption and decreased clinical disability. H. pylori may not be directly involved in the pathogenesis of PD, but its systemic presence could affect the progression and treatment of PD, probably by stimulating inflammation and autoimmunity.

Chronic infections in PD have been linked to inflammation and autoimmune responses. Experimental models of PD have been developed using neurological viral or bacterial infections to initiate the pathogenic process. Spirochetes have also been found in Lewy bodies of PD patients. Other infections, such as viral encephalitis, AIDS-associated opportunistic infections of the basal ganglia, coronavirus, among other infections, have been found in PD and could be important in stimulating inflammation and autoimmune responses.

It has been stressed that additional research will be necessary to establish whether a causal link exists between PD and chronic infections.

Our approach to early onset Parkinson’s is to carefully choose functional medicine tests and chronic infection tests for each patient and formulate a treatment plan based on the test results, using natural medicine to meet each patient’s unique needs.

We also address any gut issues, which are often associated with this condition.

References:

Parkinson’s Disease.
Reich SG, Savitt JM.
Med Clin North Am. 2019 Mar;103(2):337-350. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2018.10.014. Epub 2018 Dec 3.
PMID: 30704685 Review.
The diagnosis of Parkinson disease (PD) is based on the presence of bradykinesia and either resting tremor or rigidity and there should be no features from the history or examination to suggest an alternative cause of parkinsonism. …

The epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease: risk factors and prevention.
Ascherio A, Schwarzschild MA.
Lancet Neurol. 2016 Nov;15(12):1257-1272. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30230-7. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
PMID: 27751556 Review.
Since 2006, several longitudinal studies have assessed environmental or behavioural factors that seem to modify the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. …In the future, it might be possible to identify Parkinson’s disease in its prodromal phase an …

Parkinson Disease.
Capriotti T, Terzakis K.
Home Healthc Now. 2016 Jun;34(6):300-7. doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000398.
PMID: 27243427 Review.
Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects one million people in the United States. This article reviews the etiology and pathophysiology of PD, risk factors, clinical manifestations, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of t …

Biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease: Recent Advancement.
Lotankar S, Prabhavalkar KS, Bhatt LK.
Neurosci Bull. 2017 Oct;33(5):585-597. doi: 10.1007/s12264-017-0183-5. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
PMID: 28936761 Free PMC article. Review.
As a multi-factorial degenerative disease, Parkinson’s disease (PD) leads to tremor, gait rigidity, and hypokinesia, thus hampering normal living. …Thus, biomarkers are required to detect the disease in the early stages when prevention is possible. V …

Epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease.
Tysnes OB, Storstein A.
J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2017 Aug;124(8):901-905. doi: 10.1007/s00702-017-1686-y. Epub 2017 Feb 1.
PMID: 28150045 Review.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects 1-2 per 1000 of the population at any time. PD prevalence is increasing with age and PD affects 1% of the population above 60 years. …Increasing knowledge on genetic and environmental risk factors of PD will probably elucidate the …

Parkinson’s disease psychosis: presentation, diagnosis and management.
Schneider RB, Iourinets J, Richard IH.
Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2017 Dec;7(6):365-376. doi: 10.2217/nmt-2017-0028. Epub 2017 Nov 21.
PMID: 29160144 Review.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and nonmotor symptoms. Psychosis is a common feature of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) encompasses minor phenomena (illusions, passage ha …


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