Have you experienced a slight shaking or tremor in your finger, thumb, hand, chin or lip lately? Does your legs tremble when you sit down or relax? You may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease, a condition that slowly damages your nervous system controlling movements and motor skills. Unwanted twitching or shaking of hands and feet is the determining sign of Parkinson’s disease unless detected otherwise. Turmeric, a very common spice in Indian kitchen, has found to be highly beneficial in treating Parkinson’s disease. Turmeric contains unique therapeutic compounds called curcuminoids – amongst which curcumin is the main active ingredient responsible for turmeric’s medicinal effects in Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of nervous system that mainly affects movements of hands and feet. It starts gradually with tremor in one hand which is not even noticeable. Parkinson’s disease can also cause stiffness and slow movements despite being known to cause tremors.
Parkinson’s disease involves malfunctioning and death of neurons which are vital nerve cells in the brain. It primarily affects neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. When these neurons die, they produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain responsible for movement control and coordination. With the progression of Parkinson’s disease, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain goes down and the patient is unable to control movement normally.
According to a Michigan State University researcher, Curcumin, found in turmeric, has been proved effective at preventing clumping of a protein involved in Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and thus holds promise as a neuro-protective agent in a wide range of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease.
10 Essential Facts about Parkinson’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease has been named after British Dr. James Parkinson (1755-1824), who first identified the neuro-degenerative condition.
- The reason about how Parkinson’s disease develops is not well known till date.
- Parkinson’s disease occurs due to loss of brain cells called neurons, in substantia nigra which is a part of the brain producing a chemical messenger known as dopamine.
- Parkinson’s disease is not just a disease of the “old people” – it can equally affect the younger generation.
- There is no specific diagnostic tool to diagnose the condition.
- A clear understanding of the disease can stimulate early treatment and prevent complications.
- Anxiety and depression can affect the overall health of an individual with Parkinson’s disease even more than the symptoms do.
- Regular physical exercise enhances quality of life with Parkinson’s.
- Surgical intervention like deep brain stimulation (DBS) helps people responding well to medication therapy but struggling with fluctuations of symptoms throughout the day.
- Being a part of a support group can prove beneficial in better understanding of the disease.
Parkinson’s Relation to Brain and Lewy Bodies:
When functioning normally, the brain cells called neurons produce a vital chemical dopamine that acts as a communicator within the nervous system. Dopamine serves as a chemical messenger allowing communication between parts of the brain that controls and guides movements and responses to stimuli by coordinating smooth and balanced muscle movement. The characteristic features of Parkinson’s disease occurs due to a lack of dopamine that results in abnormal nerve functioning, causing a loss in the ability to control body movements.
Additionally, in Parkinson’s disease, some abnormal round deposits of a protein are formed in nerve cells called Lewy bodies that result in death of neurons – affecting the production of dopamine and thus hampering the nervous communication channel.
In Parkinson disease, Lewy bodies are tend to form in a part of the brain called substantia nigra located deep within the brain stem that helps make movements smooth.
Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s disease:
Signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease typically include the following:
- Tremor involving hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.
- Stiffness or rigidity of muscles in any part of the body.
- Slowing down of movements referred to as bradykinesia.
- Impaired posture and balance.
What and How Parkinson’s start?
In Parkinson’s disease, neurons present in the brain gradually break down or die. Most of the symptoms in Parkinson’s disease are produced because of loss of neurons which produce a chemical that works on communication within the brain and is called dopamine. With the reduction of dopamine level, the brain activity becomes abnormal leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease remains unknown, but it is believed to be influenced by following factors:
- Genetic predisposition – Certain genetic mutations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease but have been related to only small number of cases.
- Environmental triggers – Exposure to environmental toxins may be associated with Parkinson’s disease but again relatively lower risk is noted.
- Association with Lewy bodies – It is believed that Lewy bodies (which are clumps of specific substances in the brain) might be an important pointer to Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease comes With Some Risk Factors too:
Certain factors increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and include the following:
- Older age – Parkinson’s disease is associated with older age and mostly begins in people who are 60 or older.
- Gender – it has been found that men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to women.
- Hereditary – those who have close relatives with Parkinson’s disease may have increased risk of developing this disease.
- Exposure to toxins – prolonged exposure to pesticides and other such chemicals can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Complications Occurring from Parkinson’s disease:
- Issues with cognitive abilities – Cognitive dysfunction and thinking difficulties increase in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease and usually do not respond well to the medications.
- Swallowing difficulty – Patients may suffer from issues related to food intake due to slowing down of swallowing and accumulation of saliva may cause drooling.
- Depression – Emotional changes and depression is experienced which can get better if treatment is provided.
- Difficulty with bladder control – There may be difficulty controlling bladder and the patient may experience difficulty urinating also.
- Constipation – Slowing down of digestive system may lead to constipation.
- Sleep related issues – Sleep disorder including staying awake at night and sleeping during the day might happen.
Diagnose Parkinson’s disease by:
- Physical Exam — Parkinson’s disease cannot be diagnosed with a specific test but an expert neurology specialist can make the diagnosis on the basis of history and physical examination. Neurological tests might be conducted as well.
- Blood Tests — Blood tests are usually ordered to check for any other conditions producing similar symptoms.
- Imaging modalities – MRI and PET or SPECT scan of brain might be ordered to rule out any other abnormalities.
Turmeric for Parkinson’s disease: The Spice with Magical Effects
Traditionally, turmeric has been used in India as a culinary spice, derived from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the plant Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, known for its diverse therapeutic effects. Turmeric due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties have vast therapeutic effects in Parkinson’s disease.
Curcumin, a polyphenol, is the main active component of turmeric responsible for its effects of anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant and immunomodulation properties following oral or topical administration. Studies have shown that use of Curcumin brought about lot of positive changes in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin protects nervous system from toxicity induced by homocysteine and thus helps with impaired motor function. Anti-oxidant present in turmeric inhibits the destruction of neurons present in substantia nigra and prevents reduction of dopamine levels. Curcumin also acts on various biochemical pathways so as to prevent cellular death of dopaminergic neurons.
However, curcumin found in common turmeric fails to exert 100% of its therapeutic effects due to:
- Poor bioavailability – inability to reach maximum level in blood
- Easy metabolism by liver leading to fast disposal
- Conventionally requires a lot of additional compounds and tedious methods (such as making a golden paste and other such recipes) to improve absorption
- Turmeric root contains only about 3-5% of Curcumin
- Non-standardized powdered turmeric root entails intake of large dose in order to derive any benefit
Hence a novel formulation, SNEC 30 (Self-nano emulsifying curcumin 30 mg) has been developed. SNEC 30 is the latest generation of scientifically formulated bioactive co-developed by Arbro Pharmaceuticals Ltd, DSIR (Department for Scientific & Industrial Research, GOI) and Jamia Hamdard University.
SNEC 30 uses Self Nano-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System (SNEDDS) which makes the properties of Curcumin to multifold. SNEC 30 is patented through the prestigious United States Patent for drug delivery system.
SNEC 30 is like a whole pharmacy in itself working on various metabolic activities in body in a synergistic and harmonious fashion.
Why Opt for SNEC 30 Instead of Raw Turmeric/Curcumin for Parkinson’s disease?
- SNEC 30 Uses SNEDDS for better Absorption of curcumin With Fast Action Mode
The US patented formulation of SNEC 30 is based on Self Nano Emulsifying Drug Delivery System (SNEDDS) that helps curcumin to achieve maximum concentration in blood several times more than its’ closest rival. SNEC 30 forms a stable nano emulsion in stomach and bypasses early metabolism by liver which stimulates Curcumin’s activity on the brain cells. Curcumin supplement in the form of SNEC 30 requires very small quantity to reach therapeutic values in blood.
- Curcumin in SNEC 30 Inhibits death of brain cell
Curcumin present in SNEC 30 is found to have preventive impact on motor impairment in animal model of Parkinson’s disease. The anti-oxidant properties of Curcumin inhibit the destruction of neurons in substantia nigra and thus helps decrease reduction of dopamine levels.
- SNEC 30 Acts As Superior Anti-oxidant
Curcumin in SNEC 30 prevents action of free radical species, peroxynitrite which causes oxidative damage to brain cells in Parkinson’s disease. SNEC 30 curbs oxidative stress and acts on various biochemical pathways to prevent cellular death of dopaminergic neurons.
- SNEC 30 has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Curcumin present in SNEC 30 counteracts the inflammation caused by degeneration of neurons as well as reduced dopamine levels. Research has showed proven relevance of Curcumin in treating and preventing Parkinson’s disease.
- SNEC 30 acts as Chelating Agent
SNEC 30 has the unique ability of accumulating toxic metals so as to form compounds that can be flushed out of the body and is thus known as chelating agent. Due to its extraordinary iron-chelating properties, Curcumin present in SNEC 30 can suppress iron induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur due to loss of these neurons.
- SNEC 30 Prevents Formation of Lewy Bodies
Brain cells have a protein which undergoes through structural changes in Parkinson’s disease and cause cellular death in brain cells, resulting in formation of protein aggregates which are referred to as Lewy bodies. Curcumin present in SNEC 30 is found to inhibit accumulation of this protein by inhibiting oxidative stress-imbalance between pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants. SNEC 30 also inhibits over-production of the protein and prevents its mutations.
- SNEC 30 Inhibits Enzyme Monoamine Oxidas
In Parkinson’s disease there is production of abnormal amount of enzyme monoamine oxidase leading to oxidative damage and cellular death. SNEC 30 can effectively inhibit this enzyme and thus helps in treatment of Parkinson’s.
- SNEC 30 fights Anxiety and Depression related to Parkinson’s disease
Alterations in movements give rise to hesitations and mood disturbances in public gatherings and if ignored can trigger the onset of depression and anxiety. Curcumin tackles depression and anxiety effectively. Curcumin treatment results in greater benefit in people who had atypical depression compared with the other patients. Curcumin influences several biological mechanisms associated with major depression and anxiety, namely those associated with monoaminergic activity, immune-inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and neuro-progression.
- SNEC 30 has “NO Side Effects” – It Works in Harmony with Other Body Systems
SNEC 30 works in a synchronized fashion working on cellular membranes to organize them more orderly. This not only improves the resistance of cells against infection and malignancy as well as works on various receptors to control inflammation and pain without causing any adverse effects.
- Curcumin in SNEC 30 alleviates the effects of glutathione depletion, which causes oxidative stress, mitochondria dysfunction and cell death – and is a feature of early Parkinson’s disease.
Dosage and Safety – SNEC30 is completely safe even at very high doses but ideal dose should be customized according to individual body requirement. Trials generally report very few, if any, adverse effects of SNEC30 even at very high dose. There have been no reports of toxicity following even large amount of turmeric ingestion.
Disclaimer: All the information on this site is for the purpose of general education and in no way can substitute the consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor. It is highly recommended that you consult with your Ayurvedic doctor or health care provider to determine the individual requirements. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not take any supplements without consulting their doctor.