In order to manage Parkinson's disease we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow Parkinson's disease symptoms to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind Parkinson's disease consists of three steps:
|Lyme Disease**||4%||Ruled out|
|Metal Toxicity||1%||Ruled out|
|Alzheimer's Disease||1%||Ruled out|
Do you have Parkinson's Disease?
Possible responses:→ No / don't know
→ There is good reason to believe I have it
→ Doctors think I might have it
→ I have been diagnosed with it
A study published in 2003 in The Archives of Neurology found that people who rapidly develop symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be up to 8 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. The study found that the physical symptoms of Parkinson's disease are linked to a decline in mental functioning as seen in Alzheimer's disease. About 15% of Parkinson's disease victims eventually develop Alzheimer's disease, and another 15% develop other forms of dementia.
Differentiating neuropsychiatric Lyme disease from a primary psychiatric disorder can be a daunting task. Functional brain imaging and neuropsychological testing can be particularly valuable in helping to make diagnostic distinctions.
Memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction are rarely encountered in early stage Parkinson's disease. However, about 30% of Parkinson's disease victims eventually develop Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
The question as to what causes the destruction of the dopamine-producing cells has puzzled researchers for years but a consensus is now emerging that Parkinson's disease is caused by oxidative stress and metal toxicity. The idea that oxidative stress, i.e. an excess of free radicals in the body, can cause disease was first brought forward in 1983. Numerous studies have shown that Parkinson's disease victims have low levels of natural antioxidants (glutathione and superoxide dismutase) and high levels of iron in the substantia nigra areas of their brains. It is believed that iron helps catalyze the free radical reactions that destroy the dopamine-producing cells.
Some researchers believe that cocaine could spark the early onset of Parkinson's disease by causing the body to exhaust its supply of dopamine prematurely.