Fighting Parkinson’s Disease with Exercise and Diet

Fighting Parkinson’s Disease with Exercise and Diet

Exercise and a healthy diet are two of the most potent treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Many people who live with Parkinson’s find that positive lifestyle changes slow the condition’s progression and give them better control over their symptoms.

Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise is universally beneficial and can improve anyone’s overall health. However, those with Parkinson’s might discover these specific benefits:

  • Preventing or slowing the disease’s progression
  • Improving brain health
  • Reducing symptoms like loss of balance or constipation
  • Avoiding isolation

Nobody should have to slog through a workout they hate. Fortunately, all forms of exercise can benefit those with Parkinson’s. The best physical activities are the ones you enjoy — as long as your healthcare provider approves.

Diet and Parkinson’s Disease

Patients can manage some symptoms of Parkinson’s through targeted nutrition. In general, consuming a plant-based diet that includes whole foods offers significant benefits in reducing some of the challenges of the disease.

Although there isn’t a specific diet for Parkinson’s disease, patients should prioritize eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, and healthy fats to boost their overall health. 

Water and Fiber for Constipation

Parkinson’s can lead to digestive concerns, including constipation. However, drinking six to eight glasses of water daily and eating high-fiber foods can support regular digestion. 

Limit Sugar and Caffeine for Better Sleep

Researchers estimate that two-thirds of Parkinson’s patients struggle to get adequate sleep. Limiting your intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can promote better sleep quality.

Eat Nuts and Berries for Brain Health

Healthy fats found in nuts and beneficial antioxidants from berries can promote brain health and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Other foods to fortify your brain include fish like salmon and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.

More Water for Medication Absorption

Many Parkinson’s medications can cause dehydration. Over time, dehydration can exacerbate symptoms like confusion, kidney problems, and balance issues. Get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with your medications so that your body breaks them down more efficiently.

Changing your diet and exercise routine can be difficult. Ask your physician for advice, and start with small changes instead of a complete overhaul of your habits for lasting results.

Does Parkinson’s Cause Dementia?

Does Parkinson’s Cause Dementia?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, while dementia is a term used to describe a decline in cognitive function that can impact a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. Does Parkinson’s cause Dementia? While the two conditions are distinct, there is a strong link between Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

What Causes Degeneration of Neurons in The Brain?

There are many factors that can contribute to the degeneration of neurons in the brain, and the specific causes can vary depending on the type of degenerative disease or disorder. Here are some examples of factors that can contribute to neuron degeneration:

Genetics: Inherited genetic mutations can lead to the production of abnormal proteins or other cellular changes that can cause neurons to degenerate.

Environmental factors: Exposure to toxins, such as pesticides or heavy metals, can damage neurons and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

Aging: As we age, our cells become less efficient at repairing damage, and this can lead to the accumulation of damaged proteins and other cellular changes that can contribute to neuron degeneration.

Inflammation: Chronic inflammation in the brain can damage neurons and contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Trauma: Traumatic brain injuries can cause physical damage to neurons and lead to neurodegeneration.

Other medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases, can increase the risk of neuron degeneration.

It is often a combination of these factors, rather than a single cause, that may be the contributors to neuron degeneration in Parkinson’s Disease.

Research suggests that up to 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease will experience some cognitive decline over the course of their illness, with about 50% developing dementia at some point in their lives. This type of dementia is known as Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD).

What is Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD)

Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) is a type of dementia that affects some people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The symptoms of PDD can include memory loss, difficulty with planning and problem-solving, and changes in mood and behavior. PDD typically develops several years after the onset of PD, and the severity of cognitive impairment can vary widely from person to person.

In addition to cognitive changes, people with PDD may also experience motor symptoms associated with PD, such as tremors, stiffness, and slowed movements. Behavioral and psychological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and delusions, are also common in PDD.

How Does PDD Develop?

The exact cause of PDD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the degeneration of neurons in specific areas of the brain that are affected by both PD and dementia. It is also believed to be a result from the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, including alpha-synuclein, which is also involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease. 

It is important to note that not everyone with Parkinson’s disease will develop PDD, and there are treatments available to help manage both conditions. People with Parkinson’s disease who are concerned about cognitive decline should speak with their healthcare provider for guidance on how to monitor and manage their symptoms.

What Are Treatment Options For PDD?

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms of the disease and improve quality of life for people with PDD. Here are some ways that PDD can be managed:

Medications: There are several medications that can be used to manage the symptoms of PDD, including medications to manage the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as medications to manage cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy: Therapy sessions with a trained healthcare professional can help people with PDD and their caregivers learn strategies for managing cognitive and behavioral symptoms, such as memory loss, depression, and anxiety.

Exercise: Exercise has been shown to be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease, and it may also help improve cognitive function and mood in people with PDD.

Support groups: Joining a support group can help people with PDD and their caregivers connect with others who are facing similar challenges and provide emotional support and practical advice.

Lifestyle changes: Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress can all help improve overall health and may help manage symptoms of PDD.

It is important for people with PDD and their caregivers to work closely with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific symptoms and needs.

Regenerative Medicine for Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Another option that is outside of traditional medicine that patients are exploring is regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. This therapy involves the use of stem cells to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissues in the body. Stem cells are unique because they have the ability to differentiate, or transform, into different types of cells, such as muscle cells, nerve cells, or blood cells. This makes them a potentially useful tool for repairing damaged tissues or replacing lost or damaged cells in the body. 

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being investigated for their potential use in a variety of therapeutic applications, including the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are derived from adult tissues isolated from the patient’s own tissue (autologous) or from a donor (allogeneic). 

While research continues regarding the use of MSCs for the management of neurological conditions, there has been some evidence to suggest that it may have potential as a therapeutic option. Studies have shown that MSCs can migrate to damaged areas of the brain and release neurotrophic factors, which can promote the growth and survival of neurons. 

MSCs may also have anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce inflammation in the brain that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as PDD. They have the ability to modulate the immune response and produce a variety of growth factors and other signaling molecules that can help promote tissue repair and regeneration.

If you are looking into options for yourself or a loved one, talk to your healthcare provider about which options are best for the management of your condition. When options are limited or not showing improvement, regenerative medicine may be an option worth exploring. When looking for a provider in this industry is important to have the elements of experience, transparency, and quality control. 

What to Expect When You’re Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

What to Expect When You’re Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 500,000 Americans have a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Receiving this diagnosis can leave you unsure of what to expect or what steps to take. Learn more about what to expect when you’re newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Communication Is Vital

It is crucial to communicate with loved ones about your diagnosis. Express your worries and fears and allow them to offer their help.

You also need to communicate openly with your doctor. Ask them all of the questions you may have about the condition and about the expected progression of the symptoms. 

Ask for Help

Dealing with Parkinson’s disease will require that you have some help. Help can mean different things to different people. How far along the disease is and what kind of symptoms you struggle with will all impact the degree of help you will need after a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Take Time to Adjust

After this kind of diagnosis, it can take some time to come to terms with the reality of the disease. Take that time. Slowly begin to research the symptoms without overwhelming yourself with statistics or worst-case scenarios. 

Boost Your Activity Levels

From the moment you receive your diagnosis, begin boosting your activity levels. Physical exercise and therapy can all help counteract the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but you do not want to wait for the symptoms to get worse to begin. 

Getting active can help you remain active for longer as the condition progresses. Some excellent options include:

  • Swimming
  • Walking 
  • Cycling

If you want something a bit different, you can also opt for yoga or dance classes. 

Start Tracking Your Symptoms

Your doctor may recommend that you begin tracking your symptoms, especially as you begin new medications or treatment options. Pay attention to how you feel at different times of the day, after certain activities, diet, and after taking your medications. All of this can help you better understand the condition and offer valuable information for your doctor. 

You can track your symptoms in a chart, a notebook, a computer program, or any other way you prefer. 

A Diagnosis Is Just the Start

Receiving a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis can finally give you an explanation for the symptoms you have experienced. It is a daunting diagnosis to face, but the right support system and medical guidance can help you navigate all of the changes in your life. To learn more about your options after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, contact us today at Stemedix!

Could Fat Be the Secret to Regenerative Medicine Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

Could Fat Be the Secret to Regenerative Medicine Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

For several decades, there has been extensive research into how regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can help patients suffering from central nervous system disorders. One of the most heavily researched conditions has been Parkinson’s disease. Patients who struggle with Parkinson’s understand how severe their symptoms can be and how rapidly the disease can progress. This makes finding an effective treatment essential for maintaining the quality of life. Here we will discuss the possible treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.

How Stem Cells Can Make a Difference With Parkinson’s Disease

Recent studies have shown that body fat could be a promising key to helpful stem cell treatment in patients with Parkinson’s disease. 

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital found that fatty tissue can produce stem cells for treating various central nervous system disorders, providing a homegrown source of regenerative medicine.

Neural stem cells were identified in these studies when scientists assessed body fat in mice. When examining the subcutaneous adipose tissue, researchers found nerve fibers that contained Schwann cells. Schwann cells are a type of cell used in the maintenance and regeneration of neurons in the peripheral nervous system. 

In vitro analysis of the Schwann cells revealed that they can provide stem cell-like qualities. These stem cell qualities may have regenerative properties that support motor and sensory actions in patients with conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

One of the benefits of sourcing cells from body fat is that it is derived from the patient’s own tissue. Using homegrown stem cells has been shown to be most effective when treating numerous conditions. 

Scientists found that the Schwann cells discovered in the study improved digestive function in mice with disorders like gastroparesis and colonic aganglionosis. This occurred when injected into the gastrointestinal tract of the mice. 

When applied to the central nervous system, these cells could potentially improve nervous system function in patients with certain neurological disorders.

A researcher in this study explained:

“Because adipose stem cells are widely considered to be safe therapeutic agents for humans … the derivation of SAT-[neural stem cells] offers unprecedented potential for therapeutic application in neurological diseases.” 

This means that the cells identified in the study could one day provide a safe, natural treatment for patients struggling with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 

A Promising Option For Parkinson’s

It is worth noting that there’s still much research to do when it comes to stem cells and how they might treat various disorders. 

The relationship between Parkinson’s disease and stem cell therapy is the subject of several ongoing studies. The hope is that stem cell treatments are soon widely accepted as an alternative way to potentially relieve the effects of degenerative neurological conditions. If you would like to learn more about the available treatments for Parkinson’s Disease contact us today at Stemedix!

What Are the Current Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

What Are the Current Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

Treating the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease can be incredibly challenging. Since the condition’s progression varies widely, there is no standard treatment. Ideally, patients work with their healthcare provider to create a treatment plan tailored to their symptoms. Here we will discuss the current treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.

Most treatment plans include a multipronged approach, combining exercise, therapies, and medications to manage symptoms and slow the condition’s progression.

Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise is critical to maintaining balance, mobility, and strength for those with Parkinson’s. When using physical activity to manage Parkinson’s symptoms, patients should combine aerobic, strength, balance, agility, and flexibility exercises. 

Many activities incorporate these elements, such as yoga, biking, running, dance, and Pilates. 

Therapies for Treating Parkinson’s Disease

Depending on the symptoms a patient experiences, several therapies can assist with mobility, speech, and function. 

Physical Therapy

Many Parkinson’s patients are prescribed physical therapy to remain independent. These therapies can retrain the muscles and slow the progression of hypokinesia, or smaller movements that develop as the disease progresses. 

Additionally, physical therapy can aid balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination. 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy allows those with Parkinson’s to remain active and find new ways to complete tasks that become more difficult as the condition progresses. Patients also learn to use new equipment to stay independent and add ease to movement.

Speech Therapy

Many patients with Parkinson’s experience speech problems such as low speech volume, hoarse or breathy speaking, or lack of pitch. Speech therapy can help with speaking mechanics, using assistive devices, and swallowing concerns.

Medications for Parkinson’s Disease

Currently, the most common medication for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a drug called levodopa. The brain converts levodopa to dopamine, helping replace the neurotransmitter’s loss. 

Since levodopa can cause nausea, the medication is almost always administered with a companion drug, carbidopa, which manages stomach upset and nausea symptoms.

Unfortunately, levodopa’s absorption is inconsistent because it takes a long path from the small intestine through the blood to the brain. The inconsistency can lead to a rise and fall in the brain’s dopamine levels. 

Additionally, the treatment becomes less effective over time, as the cells that convert levodopa to dopamine continue to decline. There are several other medications aimed at reducing Parkinson’s symptoms. However, they all have some limitations. 

Surgical Options

Surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease include deep brain stimulation (DBS) and Duopa.

Deep Brain Stimulation  

DBS aims to reduce patients’ movement-related symptoms. In this procedure, a surgeon implants electrodes into the brain. These electrodes deliver electrical stimulation into targeted areas that control movement. 

Many patients experience a reduction in symptoms after DBS surgery. However, the amount of reduction varies, and most patients remain on their medications, though in smaller doses.


Duopa allows carbidopa-levodopa medication to be administered directly into the intestine via a gel. This methodology improves absorption and reduces the fluctuation of dopamine levels.

Patients require surgery to place a tube in the intestine. Then, a pump delivers Duopa directly to the intestine via the tube. 

New Alternative Therapy

Researchers are seeing promising results in investigating regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, for managing Parkinson’s disease. Early studies offer hope that stem cells will provide a more comprehensive option to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. If you would like to learn more about the treatment options available at Stemedix for Parkinson’s Disease, contact a care coordinator today!

Allogeneic Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Safety in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease

Allogeneic Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Safety in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease

Research has shown neuroinflammation to have a significant role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Much of this same research has also demonstrated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and specifically, allogeneic bone marrow-derived MSCs, can be effectively used as an immunomodulatory therapy for the potential treatment of PD.

The goal of Schiess et al.’s study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of first-of-its-kind intravenous allogeneic bone marrow-derived MSCs (allo-hMSCs) in patients with PD.

Neurological disorders continue to be the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years lost worldwide (a statistical measure of years of healthy life lost as a result of death or disability relating to the constitution). While the numbers of those diagnosed with neurological disorders, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, and dementia continue to increase at a rapid rate, none are growing as fast as PD.

Considering the rapid progression of progressively intensifying symptoms associated with PD and the relatively poor progress in the discovery of therapies to prevent, or even slow, progression of PD, the authors identified the identification of effective and safe disease-modifying therapies for PD to be a priority.

As part of this study, Schiess et al. studied the peripheral immune system in PD neurodegeneration through the evaluation of LPS rat models, glial cells, and cerebrospinal fluid gathered from patients. As a result of these investigations, the authors determined that an adaptive immune response does contribute to progression supporting the rationale for using MSCs as a potential therapy for PD.

To evaluate the effectiveness of this therapy, Scheiss et al. developed and conducted a single-center, open-label, ascending-dose-escalation phase 1 clinical study involving 20 patients with mild to moderate PD. Participants were assigned to single intravenous doses of 1 of 4 doses and evaluated at weeks 3, 12, 24, and 52 post-infusion.

In addition to evaluating the safety and tolerability of an intravenous infusion of bone marrow-derived allow-hMSCs, the research team also evaluated participants for relevant biomarkers for the mechanism of action and clinical assessment of PD progression.

The authors point out that while there were no serious adverse reactions related to the infusion and no responses to donor-specific human leukocyte antigens, the most commonly reported side effect was dyskinesias and hypertension. Further studies will need to monitor the emergence or exacerbation of post-infusion dyskinesias and hypertension to better understand their occurrence as part of this study.

In conclusion, Sheiss et al. found that a single infusion of allogeneic MSCs ranging from 1 to 10×106 intravenous allo-hMSCs/kg was safe, well tolerated, and not immunogenic in patients with mild-to-moderate PD. The authors also found that peripheral inflammation markers appeared to be reduced at 52 weeks after receiving the highest dose, leading to the conclusion that the highest dose had the most significant effect at the 52-week interval.  

Based on these findings, the authors recommend moving forward with a phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled efficacy trial using allo-hMSCs in a larger population of well-defined Parkinson’s disease patients.

Source: “Allogeneic Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Safety in ….” 27 Mar. 2021,

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