Putting the Brakes on Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s affects 120,000 people in the UK, both young and old. Experts Dr Geoffrey and Lucille Leader show you how to prevent and stop it.

Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Geoffrey Leader and Lucille Leader, a doctor and nutritionist living in London, we now know that the right nutritional intervention can effectively improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Harry’s story is a case in point. Harry was referred by his GP to Dr Geoffrey Leader and Lucille Leader at their clinic in London. He made repetitive movements, had tremors (made worse by stress), intractable constipation and very low energy, and was very underweight. The Leaders arranged biochemical tests, which demonstrated that Harry was deficient in nutrients. They also found that he was eating foods that compromised the absorption of his L-dopa medication. They recommended nutrients to address the deficiencies that were found, dealt successfully with the constipation, worked out a suitable diet and a schedule for taking the L-dopa in relation to different foods, which would maximise the efficacy of Harry’s drugs. This enabled him to take smaller doses of L-dopa, which in turn reduced its side-effects, which included the distressing dyskinesia.

The weight problem was addressed using a specific dietary strategy that was compatible with his drug regimen. They also helped Harry to keep his stress levels low by a special relaxation technique called Autogenic Training and use of a dedicated CD, Parkinson’s Disease Relaxation by David Uri. also helps control the symptoms. Within a few weeks, Harry was experiencing a feeling of wellbeing. His bowel function had normalised, his energy had improved, the dyskinesia was a thing of the past, and he was putting on weight. His body movements were more controlled. Note: The full details of this integrated nutritional strategy are given in the Leaders’ books, Parkinson’s Disease: The Way Forward and Parkinson’s Disease Reducing Symptoms with Nutrition and Drugs. To purchase, click here. How we make dopamine (Fig 31) [1] Adapted with permission from Dr Geoffrey Leader and Lucille Leader, Parkinson’s Disease — The Way Forward and Parkinson’s Disease Reducing Symptoms with Nutrition and Drugs Many Roads to Dopamine Deficiency There is little doubt that dopamine deficiency is the major cause of the symptoms of Parkinson’s, and most drug therapy aims to improve the body’s ability to make dopamine from L-dopa. But, why do some people develop this impaired ability to make this key neurotransmitter? There are many answers to this question.

In some cases the neurons that produce dopamine don’t work properly, sometimes because they lack the raw materials, or the enzymes that turn the building blocks, amino acids, into neurotransmitters. The neurons can die off or be damaged, for example by oxidants, or by environmental toxins such as pesticides and herbicides. Interestingly, researchers at the University of Miami have found levels of these chemicals to be higher in the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers.[2] The incidence of Parkinson’s is notably higher in rural areas where a lot of crop spraying takes place, and some pesticide combinations have shown a clear geographical correlation with incidences of the disease.[3,4] Deficiency of nutrients such as folic acid can also make these dopamine-producing brain cells more susceptible to damage.[5]

The balance of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, is controlled to a large extent...

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