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Neuroinflammatory mechanisms in Parkinson's disease: Potential environmental triggers, pathways, and targets for early therapeutic intervention *

Most acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions are accompanied by neuroinflammation; yet the exact nature of the inflammatory processes and whether they modify disease progression is not well understood. In this review, we discuss the key epidemiological, clinical, and experimental evidence implicating inflammatory processes in the progressive degeneration of the dopaminergic (DA) nigrostriatal pathway and their potential contribution to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD).
Given that interplay between genetics and environment are likely to contribute to risk for development of idiopathic PD, recent data showing interactions between products of genes linked to heritable PD that function to protect DA neurons against oxidative or proteolytic stress and inflammation pathways will be discussed. Cellular mechanisms activated or enhanced by inflammatory processes that may contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, or apoptosis of dopaminergic (DA) neurons will be reviewed, with special emphasis on tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β) signaling pathways.
Epigenetic factors which have the potential to trigger neuroinflammation, including environmental exposures and age-associated chronic inflammatory conditions, will be discussed as possible ‘second-hit’ triggers that may affect disease onset or progression of idiopathic PD. If inflammatory processes have an active role in nigrostriatal pathway degeneration, then evidence should exist to indicate that such processes begin in the early stages of disease and that they contribute to neuronal dysfunction and/or hasten neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway. Therapeutically, if anti-inflammatory interventions can be shown to rescue nigral DA neurons from degeneration and lower PD risk, then timely use of anti-inflammatory therapies should be investigated further in well-designed clinical trials for their ability to prevent or delay the progressive loss of nigral DA neurons in genetically susceptible populations.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 06-23-2008