I have a cousin who has Parkinson’s disease which took him from being a world-renowned pediatrician who worked at a hospital in Boston to someone who is now on disability. Michael J. Fox has lived with Parkinson’s disease for years and has been able with the use of medication and other interventions to function better, but with markedly altered abilities.
Parkinson’s disease is described by Wikipedia as a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms usually emerge slowly and, as the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become more common.
Evidence that Parkinson’s disease has included gastrointestinal involvement has been available since 1817, the English surgeon James Parkinson reported that some patients with a condition he termed “shaking palsy” experienced constipation. In one of the six cases he described, treating the gastrointestinal complaints appeared to alleviate the movement-related problems associated with the disease.
Since then, physicians have noted at least half of those suffering from the disease experienced gastrointestinal complaints before and after the onset of symptoms.
While there is no shortage of drugs that claim to relieve the symptoms of the disease which you can find while doing a google search, treating the cause is always a better option.
Check out this blog which investigates the link, the research, and how we may find better treatments or possible cures by thinking more holistically about Parkinson’s disease.
Does Parkinson’s Begin in the Gut?
A growing body of evidence links the neurodegenerative disease to the gastrointestinal tract, opening new possibilities for treatment.
By Diana Kwon, Scientific American
The earliest evidence that the gut might be involved in Parkinson’s emerged more than 200 years ago. In 1817, the English surgeon James Parkinson reported that some patients with a condition he termed “shaking palsy” experienced constipation. In one of the six cases he described, treating the gastrointestinal complaints appeared to alleviate the movement-related problems associated with the disease.
Since then, physicians have noted that constipation is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s, appearing in around half the individuals diagnosed with the condition and often preceding the onset of movement-related impairments. Still, for many decades, the research into the disease has focused on the brain. Scientists initially concentrated on the loss of neurons producing dopamine, a molecule involved in many functions including movement. More recently, they have also focused on the aggregation of alpha synuclein, a protein that twists into an aberrant shape in Parkinson’s patients. A shift came in 2003, when Heiko Braak, a neuroanatomist at the University of Ulm in Germany, and his colleagues proposed that Parkinson’s may actually originate in the gut rather than the brain.