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Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. It is a disabling disorder affecting the speed, quality, and ease of movement. Its hallmark symptoms, which worsen as the disease progresses, include hand tremors, limb stiffness, impaired balance, and difficulty walking. It can also affect mood, thinking, and sleep.

 

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

The disease typically presents itself after age 50 and is caused by the die-off of specialized nerve cells in a region of the brain that controls movement. A history of head trauma can increase risk, which may be why heavyweight boxers and NFL players have fallen victim to the condition. However, most people may be more likely to develop the disease from toxic pollutants in our environment that can build up in the food supply and eventually affect the brain.

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease have been found to have elevated levels of an organochlorine pesticide in their bloodstreams, the class of largely banned pesticides that includes DDT. Autopsy studies have also found elevated levels of pesticides in the brain tissue of those with Parkinson’s. As well, elevated levels of PCBs and other pollutants have been found, and the higher certain PCB concentrations, the higher the degree of damage specifically in the brain region thought to be responsible for the disease. Although many of these chemicals were banned decades ago, they may persist in the environment, and you can continue to be exposed to them through the consumption of contaminated animal products, including dairy. People who eat dairy-free, plant-based diets, on the other hand, have been found to have significantly lower blood levels of the PCBs implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

 

How to Avoid Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is not currently curable, but there are a number of simple things you can do that may decrease your risk of getting Parkinson’s disease. You can wear seat belts and bicycle helmets to avoid getting hit in the head, exercise regularly, avoid becoming overweight, consume peppers, berries, and green tea, and minimize your exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and dairy and other animal products.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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