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Treating Parkinson's Disease Naturally

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects neurons that control movement, leading to impairments in the sufferer's motor skills, speech, and other functions. Parkinson's belongs to a group of neurologic conditions called motor system disorders, which are the consequence of the insufficient formation and action of dopamine by dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. Dopamine normally transmits signals that help coordinate movements. The mechanism that results to the damages of these cells remains unknown.

As Parkinsonís progresses, patients may present with difficulty walking, talking, or accomplishing simple tasks. The disease usually affects people over the age of 50 and it is more common in men than women.  The early symptoms are subtle and develop slowly, but in some patients the disease can progress more quickly. Moreover, while some patients become severely disabled, others only experience minor motor impairments. To date, no blood or laboratory tests have been developed to accurately help in diagnosing Parkinsonís.  In most cases, the diagnosis is based on medical history and neurological evaluation.  The disease is difficult to diagnose accurately so doctors may request for brain scans such as CT scan or MRI and laboratory tests to rule out other diseases.

Parkinsonís Disease Symptoms

Parkinsonís disease has four primary symptoms which include tremor, or trembling of the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or poor balance and coordination. Of these, tremor is the most apparent symptom and it is normally a rest tremor which means it is more evident when the limb is at rest and disappears with voluntary movement and sleep. Rigidity is due to joint stiffness and increased muscle tone which is usually associated with joint pain.  Bradykinesia is the most characteristic clinical feature of the disease and it causes difficulties with planning, initiation and execution of movement. In the advanced stages postural instability is common and can lead to falls. It is also the symptom that is least responsive to treatment.

Other symptoms of Parkinsonís include a mask-like facial expression, small handwriting (micrographia), depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disturbances. Gait and posture may also be affected such as decreased arm swing, a stooped posture and the use of small steps when walking.

Parkinsonís Disease Treatment

There is no cure for Parkinsonís but a variety of medications provides relief from symptoms.  Patients are usually given levodopa combined with carbidopa.  Carbidopa is a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor which delays the conversion of levodopa into dopamine until it reaches the brain.  Dopaminergic neurons can utilize levodopa to make dopamine and replenish the brain's supply.  While levodopa is effective in at least three-quarters of patients, not all symptoms respond equally to the drug. Bradykinesia and rigidity respond favorably, while tremor may be only slightly reduced. Balance and other symptoms may show no response at all.  Anticholinergics may help control tremor and rigidity.  Dopamine agonists are also used to mimic the role of dopamine in the brain, causing the neurons to react as they would to dopamine. However, these drugs have known side effects such as somnolence, hallucinations and/or insomnia.

In some cases, surgery may be indicated if the disease fails to respond to medication. In addition, a therapy called deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. DBS can reduce the need for levodopa and other drugs, which in turn reduces involuntary movements that are a common side effect of levodopa. DBS also helps to reduce tremors, bradykinesia and gait difficulties.

Mangosteen Help for Parkinsonís Disease

Parkinsonís is one of those idiopathic forms of disease that leave their victims wondering what could help improve their condition. Medications do help but you have to live with the side effects they carry. There are many promising cures and remedies that are going through further studies and clinical trials but one outstanding fruit has shown positive results and virtually all tests that it has gone through, the mangosteen.

Mangosteen supplements are being integrated into the treatment regimen of patients suffering from Parkinsonís. Whatís great about it is that it is all natural and therefore has no deleterious side effects, and more importantly it does help Parkinsonís patients in a number of ways. In the United States, mangosteen is known to help in the treatment of everything from depression to Parkinson's and it is believed that Michael J. Fox has benefited from it. The secret to the healing properties of mangosteen lies on a group of compounds called xanthones. They are among the most potent antioxidants known to man. This property is of utmost importance in relation to Parkinsonís because it is a known fact that oxidative damage to the brain is a significant cause of the disease and other neurologic disorders. Because mangosteen is one of the best antioxidants in the planet, it is highly effective in preventing mental degeneration and it has been shown to improve mental acuity.

Xanthones as an antioxidant is more powerful than any vitamin. In fact it is five times more powerful than vitamins C and E. It is this antioxidant property of mangosteen that is rousing the interest of those who are trying to crack the code that could lead to definitive cure for Parkinsonís. The dopaminergic neurons in the brainís substantia nigra that produces dopamine is susceptible to free radical damge, much like any other cells in the human body. The antioxidant properties of xanthones can therefore be harnessed during the early stages and throughout the entire course of the disease to protect those neurons that produce dopamine.  If they stay healthy, there will be no shortage of dopamine in the brain and patients can get their much needed relief from the scourge of Parkinsonís.

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Oxidative damage to the brain is a significant cause of dementia, alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other central nervous system diseases. Because mangosteen is one of the best antioxidants, it is effective in preventing mental degeneration. Plus, mangosteen has been shown to improve mental acuity.
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