Parkinson’s Disease therapeutic treatments to strengthen neurological integrity

“For everything this disease has taken, something with greater value has been given–sometimes just a marker that points me in a new direction that I might not otherwise have traveled. So, sure, it may be one step forward and two steps back, but after a time with Parkinson’s, I’ve learned that what is important is making that one step count; always looking up.” – Michael J. Fox

Parkinson’s Disease is quite possibly one of the most heart breaking diseases to be witness to.  The onset of Parkinson’s is like witnessing a car accident happen in slow motion – each moment is a fracture, an inevitable deterioration of everything that makes a human, well, a human.  While many researchers have become pretty good at identifying the symptoms occurring in the brain during the onset of Parkinson’s, a cure has not yet been discovered.  Therapeutic treatments marginally increase the quality of life for those suffering from the disease, but new gene therapy results are promising .  However, in the wake of these advancements, an inevitable threshold for improvement will eventually be reached.  Further advancement requires a different approach – one that solves the structural integrity prior to the breakdown.  It is akin to shoring up a house’s foundation, or reinforcing weak walls before they collapse.

This is where Sonalkiss has found its niche.  We are taking a unique approach in our therapeutic studies by utilizing current techniques that we are already employing in our studies of autism and autoimmune disorders.  While this may initially sound somewhat tangential, our core approach at Sonalkiss is not to provide a genetic band-aid, but instead to understand the biological language and learn to communicate effectively.  It is within this approach that the commonalities within neurological and autoimmmune disorders begin to become more apparent.  We are working from the inside of the biological core outward in order to build neurological resilience, regardless of the neurological disorder.  If we can understand where the structural integrity of our neurological architecture is predisposed to weakness, we can effectively treat and provide therapeutic services as the body begins to rebuild its neurological strength.  There is no place that this approach can be more beneficially effective and quantifiably documented than within Parkinson’s patients – and the strides we are currently making are really quite extraordinary.

The information below about Parkinson’s is taken from the National Parkinson Foundation, an esteemed organization whose mission is to improve the quality of care through research, education and outreach.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. What this means is that individuals with PD will be living with PD for twenty years or more from the time of diagnosis. While Parkinson’s disease itself is not fatal, the Center for Disease Control rated complications from the disease as the 14th top cause of death in the United States. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s; however, your doctors will be focused and dedicated to finding treatments that help control the symptoms of PD and have a good quality of life.

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

Normally, there are brain cells (neurons) in the human brain that produce dopamine. These neurons concentrate in a particular area of the brain, called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is a chemical that relays messages between the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain to control movements of the human body. Dopamine helps humans to have smooth coordinated muscle movements. When approximately 60 to 80% of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, and do not produce enough dopamine, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. This process of impairment of brain cells is called neurodegeneration.

The current theory (so-called Braak’s hypothesis) is that the earliest signs of Parkinson’s are found in the enteric nervous system, the medulla and in particular, the olfactory bulb, which controls your sense of smell. Under this theory, Parkinson’s only progresses to the substantia nigra and cortex over the years. This theory is increasingly borne out by evidence that non-motor symptoms, such as a loss of sense of smell, hyposmia, sleep disorders and constipation may precede the motor features of the disease by several years. For this reason, researchers are increasingly focused on these “non-motor” symptoms to both detect PD as early as possible and to look for ways to stop its progression.

How common is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s, affecting about one million people in the United States and an estimated four million worldwide. The Center for Disease Control rated complications from Parkinson’s disease as the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. The prevalence of the disease is expected to increase substantially in the next 20 years due to the aging of the population in the U.S., Europe and globally, as well as an increase in the age-related incidence of the disease. The economic burden of Parkinson’s disease is estimated to be $6 billion annually in the U.S.