Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system that affect an estimated one million individuals in the united states. It has extremely visible characteristics such as uncontrollable shaking, rigidity, and impaired motor skills. PD is primarily a result of the death of dopamine producing cells in the brain. A protein called alpha-synuclin that normally mediates cell death is disrupted and leads to Lewey body formation in the brain.
There are several current treatments that attempt to counteract the effects exhibited by an individual with PD, but none fully rid the individual of the disease. The role of iron homeostasis in the brain in relation to the development to Parkinson’s disease has been under more and more investigation in recent studies of the disease.
Iron is carefully regulated in the brain and the imbalance of iron can lead to very disruptive consequences the central nervous system. Specifically, the role of iron chelators have been examined as a potential treatment for PD. Iron chelators work to bind iron and remove them from your system. A patient with PD exhibits elevated accumulation of alpha-synuclin as well as increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress greatly contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death. These iron chelators have been found to inhibit these harmful processes from occurring. In particular, a drug named M30 is being studied as a potential treatment for PD. However, you can find sources of iron chelators in naturally occurring substances as well, such as green tea. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is abundant in green tea can help alleviate problems caused by increased iron overload as well as acting as an effective antioxidant to deal with the oxidative stress caused by PD.
Although there is no one-stop-cure-all method to preventing or treating Parkinson’s disease, there are things we know about the pathology that may provide useful insight in helping prevent the disease. The accumulation of iron and the resulting oxidative stress in your cells has been shown to contribute to PD. So taking healthy supplements that have antioxidative characteristics is extremely healthy (antioxidants play a role in a variety of diseases), as well as watching your iron intake and being mindful of what you’re ingesting into your body. Time and time again, diet seems to play a crucial role in our health and the prevention of a variety of different diseases.