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Topic How do we protect our Children from PD ? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By marky On 2012.05.22 05:36
I'm still a 'newbie' on this forum, but on searching previous posts I could not find anything related to ways of preventing our children from developing PD ? There appears to be hereditary situations in some families, but this is quite rare, so can anyone suggest how we can help minimise the chances ? I have two sons, 20 & 17 years old, who must be both quietly thinking if they will develop PD like their Mother who is only 55 ?

I know I cannot do anything to stop my wife's progression of PD, apart from trying to make the quality of her life as best as possible, but surely I can do something positive for my sons ?

I'm a little surprised not to have seen this type of post before, but on researching the subject myself, I appreciate that there's little out there on this type of thing.

Awaiting any suggestions & recommendations ?

By lurkingforacure On 2012.05.22 09:44
No good news here other than that the "genetic" form of PD is not as common. If it were me, I would have my spouse do the spit-test offered from 23andme (founder is wife of Sergei Brin who founded google). It is free and they do an analysis and will tell you the results. The data is collected, of course, and they are trying to analyze PD spit from thousands of PWP to see if there are any patterns. You can learn more on their site if interested.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.05.22 14:05
Other than trying to stay away from the several neurotoxins that are thought to or do cause Parkinson's Syndroms I really don't know what to suggest can be done. Much more research has to be done and until they know what causes, triggers or contributes to Parkinson's Disease I don't think anyone knows any sure way to avoid contracting it.

By marky On 2012.05.22 23:38
Many thanks for the responses to date, and I have already visited the 23andme site so that my wife can register for the 'spit test' which will hopefully provide them with more data to help their investigations. I haven't read all the details on the site yet, but maybe it will also give us some idea of the potential risks of PD for our sons. I will keep you updated on the 23andme tests etc.

On the questions of the neurotoxins, I've heard previously about various pesticides which are thought to increase the risk of developing PD, but can you please post the names of any specific products so that all those reading the forum can share in this information ? Many thanks.

By Reflection On 2012.05.23 09:51
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce dopaminergic neuron degeneration in animal models of Parkinson disease (PD)
We investigated whether nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use was associated with a lower risk for Parkinson's disease (PD) in a large cohort of US men and women. PD risk was lower among ibuprofen users than nonusers. Compared with nonusers, the relative risks were 0.73 for users of fewer than 2 tablets/week, 0.72 for 2 to 6.9 tablets/week, and 0.62 for 1 or more tablets/day (p trend = 0.03). No association was found between the use of aspirin, other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or acetaminophen and PD risk. The results suggest that ibuprofen use may delay or prevent the onset of PD. Ann Neurol 2005

Ibuprofen May Help Stave Off Parkinson's

Finding suggests need to look closer at the disease as inflammatory, expert says

Regular use of ibuprofen, a common anti-inflammatory drug, significantly lowers the risk for developing Parkinson's disease, Harvard researchers report.

People who took three or more tablets a week showed a 40 percent lower risk than those who didn't take the common pain reliever, their study found.

Study author Dr. Xiang Gao, an instructor and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said the findings are important for anyone at increased risk for Parkinson's because most people with the disease eventually become severely disabled.

"There is thus a need for better preventive interventions," Gao said. "In this context, our findings regarding the potential neuroprotective effect of ibuprofen, one of the most commonly used analgesics, on Parkinson's disease may have important public health and clinical implications."

Parkinson's is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain that control the movement of muscles. It affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, men far more often than women. The exact cause is unknown, but experts believe it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Gao said that though the drug levodopa is the current standard treatment for Parkinson's, much more is needed. He is scheduled to present the findings in Toronto at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.

The findings came from an analysis of data on 136,474 people who did not have Parkinson's at the start of the study. In a six-year span, 293 were diagnosed with the disease. Those who took the largest doses of ibuprofen were less likely to have developed Parkinson's than were those who took smaller amounts of the drug, the study found.

No other pain reliever was found to lower the risk for Parkinson's.

Dr. Michele Tagliati, an associate professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson's Disease Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, described the results as somewhat surprising and said they emphasized the need for further study.

"It's intriguing [that the finding applied to] just ibuprofen and not aspirin or acetaminophen or other commonly prescribed medications for inflammation because it implies something more specific to ibuprofen that should be investigated," Tagliati said. "So it narrows the focus to a subgroup of [anti-inflammatory drugs]."

Tagliati called the study "eye-opening." Parkinson's is not considered an inflammatory disease, he said, adding: "We might be missing something. There is more work to be done."

But in the meantime, Tagliati said, he would "definitely discuss ibuprofen use" with his patients because, if it works to protect against the disease, it could very well benefit those who already have it.

He cautioned that persistent use of ibuprofen can lead to gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, but said that, in comparison, "there is very little to lose when measuring its side effects against the effects of Parkinson's," which can include loss of balance, stiffness, hallucinations and dementia.

By Reflection On 2012.05.23 10:08
in addition to ibuprofen - my layman's reading of the neurological literature indicates a few other things that might possibly help.

a) minimizing exposure to pesticides, chemicals, etc.

b) regular exercise - even walking. It's neuroprotective.

c) Take Vitamin D. See, eg:

d) Increase Omega-3 oils in diet - again, some evidence that reduces inflammation and neurodegeneration.
There are a lot of good web sources of nutritional info and healthy recipies- eg,

or - foods that reduce inflammation

e) other steps to reduce systemic inflammation. There are a lot of indications systemic inflammation may accelerate PD (Ibuprofen may be correlated with a reduction in PD because it reduces inflammation.) So, e.g. good teeth care. Brush, floss. No really, floss, darn it. Get them professionally cleaned, take care of any problems. There are specific studies that correlate tooth/gum issues with increased heart disease, presumably because of increased inflammation. I don't know of studies directly linking PD & tooth/gum issues, but reducing inflammation I believe makes sense. And there's no downside.

I'm not a doctor, but have read extensively about PD. I think these suggestions have little or no downside , and might help.

Though if you can get your young adults to floss, you're doing better than I am.

Good luck.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.05.23 19:01
Reflection has good advice. I'll just add try to reduce exposure pesticides, products containing manganese (this is hard because it is an element) but it is strongly suggested as a neuro toxin causing a Parkinson's Syndrome. As are some defoliants. While not everyone who is exposed to these will develop such syndromes if there is a gene or family incidence of P.D. the odds of these affecting one would go up. While many things mentioned are newer discoveries or seem to point to slowing or delaying onset, other such as manganese exposure dates back to the early 1950's and effects on miners in South American manganese mines.

By marky On 2012.05.23 23:56
Wow, there are many links to follow up, and a lot more reading to do with the information you've provided so I will be busy over the weekend ! Thanks again for your time in replying to my queries, but trying to help the family for their future is an important thing for me to do.

By packerman On 2012.05.25 09:54
my PWP (hubby) was on high prescription doses of ibuprofen for 12 years for arthritis. he does seem to have a slow progression since diagnosis (early onset at 38), but the side effects included some damage to his liver & kidneys. the doc tested him often and stopped him before it got bad. he is now on a different med.

By jcoff012 On 2012.05.27 20:09
My husband was diagnosed with PD last year, but has had symptoms for several years. His mother died of it four years ago. Although some say it isn't hereditary, it does seem odd that they both got it around the same age...His is progressing faster than we expected, but we are hanging in there. Good luck.

(It is said that cancer isn't hereditary either, but here maternal grandmother, my Dad, my oldest brother, myself, and my son all have/had, to me, it isn't unexpected that PD could run in families...who knows?) Jane

By marky On 2012.05.28 05:28
Thanks Pat & Jane, although sorry for not responding sooner but I couldn't log into the site over the weekend for some reason (?) When you say that your husband was on quite high dosage of ibuprofen, do you mean one a day or more than that ?

On the hereditary side of things, there's no-one on my wife's side whose been diagnosed with PD, but one doctor did point to previous head trauma being a possible cause, such as car accident or any time when the person loses consciousness.

I suppose that I'm looking for some positive pointers to give my sons so they don't worry about developing PD in the future, as I think it's playing on their minds at present.

By packerman On 2012.05.30 10:12
he was on 1200 mg per day.

By Reflection On 2012.05.30 22:19
you might also google 23 and me - and see:

Briefly, Serge Brin, a co-founder of Google, has a genetic link to Parkinson's. His mother has developed Parkinson's; he's at risk. I believe he's subsidizing genetic testing for persons with Parkinson's - google, you'll find out more.
Also, in September, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation is having an on-line seminar on:
New PD ExpertBriefing Series

What is New in Genetics and Parkinson's?
Tuesday, September 25, 1:00 PM ET - 2:00 PM ET
Faculty: Matt Farrer, Ph.D.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
I'd note that from what I've read, most cases of Parkinson's are sporadic - not genetically linked. And in general, if there is a genetic link, it's not inevitable that someone gets Parkinson's - it's multi-factorial, so you need the genetic predispostion plus environmental impacts etc.
Also - Parkinson's typically develops very, very slowly. It's a numbers game - you get the typical physical symptoms when you've lost ~60-80% of neurons in the substantia nigra, a certain part of the brain. So anything that slows that loss may put off Parkinson's, perhaps long enough that you never get it (or would get it at age 100, if you survive that long.)
My conclusion - it makes a great deal of sense to take anti-inflammatory steps - they may well slow the progression, and that might suffice.

By Reflection On 2012.06.05 12:55
further support for trying to reduce inflammation:

“In general, we have had few clues as to why certain people are at risk for Parkinsonism, and this gives us an interesting possibility to explore,” said Golde, who is a professor in the department of neuroscience at UF’s McKnight Brain Institute. “Namely, that infection or other factors that cause certain type of brain inflammation and high levels of interferon gamma can predispose one to Parkinsonism or even cause it outright.”

By packerman On 2012.06.06 10:17
my PWP (hubby) had a very high fever for about 3 days when he was 25. I have always wondered if this had anything to do with him being diagnosed with PD at 38.

By jaxrock On 2012.06.06 10:49
very interesting subject.

My husband was diagnosed with PD 10 years the age of 63

Looking back, he had spinal meningitis as a young boy, with fever in the 104-105 range....was quarantined in hospital for quite other words, he was very sick. Almost died.

We've mentioned this to his neuro - but we were told it's not a factor with the PD

Hopefully, some of the mysteries of PD will be solved soon........this is a terrible disease!!

By lpenrod50 On 2012.06.08 09:41
My husband is 61. He had meningitis when he was 6 months old and was quarantined in the hospital for quite awhile. In fact they didn't expect him to make it. We have found that trama's have been factors to getting parkinsons. My husband had an car accident in 2000 where a man died and a year later was diagnosed with PD. My husbands mother also had parkinsons. She had a trama involving her father having a stroke and laying all night before he was found. A year later she was diagnosed with PD. She had parkinsons for 25 yrs. and it's a horrible disease!

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