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Health Protocols

Parkinson's Disease

Introduction

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system resulting from depletion of dopamine-producing cells in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra. A variety of genetic and environmental factors underlie this loss of brain cells. However, emergent research implicates oxidative stress, inflammation, and dysfunctional mitochondria as major contributors to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

Up to one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, with 60,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Men are more likely to be affected than women, and the risk increases substantially after age 50–60; however, one in 20 patients is diagnosed under the age of 40.1,2

Progression of the disease usually leads to characteristic symptoms such as tremors, muscle rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness and difficulty with movements), poor balance, sleep disturbances, and loss of coordination; eventually, cognitive decline occurs, and, in advanced disease, dementia arises.

Conventional medical approaches to treating Parkinson's disease aim to replace the lost dopamine, but fall short of addressing the ongoing destruction of dopaminergic neurons. Over time, the ability of medications to replenish dopamine levels becomes overwhelmed by further loss of dopaminergic cells. Moreover, the pharmaceutical drugs typically used to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease are laden with debilitating side effects and often worsen affection over time. Thus, the prognosis for Parkinson's disease patients relying on conventional treatment remains limited.

The mainstream medical establishment has failed to recognize the urgent need to address the multiple, interrelated pathological features of Parkinson's disease in order to prevent further neuronal loss and slow disease progression.

Scientific innovation has led to the realization that natural compounds and some underappreciated pharmaceutical compounds can synergize to support mitochondrial function, suppress inflammation, ease oxidative stress and may improve outlook for Parkinson's disease patients.

Life Extension's approach encompasses a regimen combining conventional therapeutics to ease symptoms and innovative natural ingredients along with state-of-the-art pharmaceuticals to reduce the destruction of dopaminergic neurons. This approach offers Parkinson's disease patients a chance for symptomatic improvement and enhanced quality of life.

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