A European team specialized in neurodegenerative diseases has published preclinical and clinical studies on a nutraceutical of natural origin, launched on the market under the name AtremoPlus. The exceptional results of the studies demonstrate that the bioproduct significantly increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body and at the same time improves the symptoms of the disease. No undesirable side effects have been noticed. The studies also reveal a strong neuroprotective potential that could help in the field of prevention and slowing down the progression of the disease. Is this a major step forward in the fight against Parkinson’s disease?
Origins of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease has its origins in the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. The major symptoms are well known: stiffness, tremors, slow movements, and depression. In addition, there is a multitude of other symptoms that make this disease extremely debilitating and painful to live on a daily basis. It is physically, psychologically and socially exhausting for patients as well as for the families and caregivers.
Dopaminergic neurons receive the L-dopa and convert it into dopamine. This process is possible as long as there are enough dopaminergic neurons to ensure the ability of synthesis, storage and gradual release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a key modulatory role in a multitude of psychomotor functions. It intervenes in the coordination of movements, learning, motivation and the reward process and other essential functions. The dopaminergic neurons decrease naturally and gradually with age in all populations. However, in people with Parkinson’s disease, this degeneration occurs more quickly. The hereditary phenomenon seems to play a minor role (about 10%). Moreover, even if it is not yet fully understood, exposure to toxic agents (pesticides, toxins, additives and others) and pollution in general, combined with inappropriate nutritional habits and a sedentary lifestyle, seem to play a major role in the development of the disease. When the loss of these dopaminergic neurons reaches the critical threshold of 60 to 80%, the known symptoms of this disease appear gradually.
Decreased effects of synthetic L-dopa over time
To produce dopamine, the body needs its precursor, L-dopa. If the body can not produce enough dopamine because too many of its dopaminergic neurons are destroyed, then the standard treatment is the prescription of synthetic L-Dopa drugs. This disease management works quite well for the majority of the patients during the initial phase of the disease, 3-5 years on average. After this phase, the drugs often have reduced effects, causing “on/off problems” and “Freezing” to patients which are characterized by an involuntary blockage of movements. It is frequently observed that the undesirable effects increase with the successive increase of the dosage of the drugs. Another symptom very disabling which appears regularly at this more advanced stage of the disease is dyskinesia, characterized by involuntary movements.
Patients are forced to attend helplessly this more or less rapid decline and often the moral is quite down by this lack of perspectives. It is even more difficult for PD sufferers to mobilize themselves and fight against the disease as dopamine also plays a key role in motivation. Lacking dopamine can cause sadness and depression observed in almost 30% of patients facing Parkinson’s disease.
Research for a natural solution without side effects
Since 2010, a European scientific team has worked on the development of a natural product to provide concrete solutions in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. The target was also to include in this development a real prevention strategy and action on slowing down the progression of the disease, largely absent to this date in the care of patients.
The result of this research is a food supplement, rich in L-dopa of natural origin and very well tolerated. According to the nutritional analysis mentioned in the scientific study, the complex elaboration of the product also allows the extraction and preservation of a multitude of extremely beneficial bio-functional elements a trace levels. Among the variety of components we can mention: omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linoleic acid), proteins (albumin, glutenin, tyramine), vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9), essential amino acids (aspartic acid, serine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, cysteine and histidine), minerals (manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, sodium and selenium ) and factors (beta-carotenes, quercetins, kaempferol, lecithins, lectins, saponins, alpha-amylase inhibitor, alpha-galactosidase and phytic acid). Many of these compounds are well known to be beneficial in neurodegenerative diseases. This set of natural components has demonstrated excellent results in the studies and a high potential for both the significant symptoms relief in Parkinson’s disease but also on the neuroprotective part to slow the progression of the disease. Since the product is very well tolerated, a real prevention strategy could also be targeted.
Clinical study and possible fields of application of nutraceuticals
For the clinical study, the participants were divided into two groups: on the one hand, Parkinson’s patients with long-term treatments with classical antiparkinsonian drugs; on the other hand, Parkinson’s patients that had never been treated with antiparkinsonian drugs, and 100% of whom showed dramatic hypodopaminergic state with plasma dopamine levels below 20pg/ml.
The clinical study revealed 5 major benefits of the nutraceutical:
- The significant increase in dopamine levels in the body thanks to its natural concentration of L-DOPA (20mg/g).
- The duration of the effects that last up to 12 hours after the intake.
- Product tolerance: 100% of the participants in the clinical study tolerated the product well without any undesirable side effects.
- The significant increase in norepinephrine, which plays a key role in regulating mood.
- Possible reduction of doses of antiparkinsonian drugs.
An intake of 5g of the product increases the dopamine levels by at least 200% within 30-60 minutes, with a duration of action of up to 12 hours, at the same time improves the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: bradykinesia (slow movements), tremors and hypertonia (rigidity).
Taking into account the efficacy of the bioproduct and the positive results, the authors of the clinical study suggest that this food supplement of natural origin could be a solution to:
- Reduce the phenomenon of “Wearing off” or “deterioration of the end of dose” (observed mainly in the intermediate and advanced phases).
- Reduce dyskinesia (intermediate and advanced phases).
- Help to potentiate the therapeutic effect of conventional antiparkinsonian drugs and delay the phenomenon of “lack of response” by the neuroprotective aspect (from the initial phase to the advanced phase of the disease).
- At the same time, reduce the short and long-term undesirable side effects of conventional antiparkinsonian drugs (from the initial phase to the advanced phase of the disease).
The study reveals that the co-administration of the dietary supplement with antiparkinsonian drugs, allows a reduction of thee doses of conventional treatments by 25-50%, with advantageous clinical effects and a reduction of undesirable side effects of these drugs.
Thus, this food supplement would be useful for all phases of Parkinson’s disease (initial, intermediate and advanced). Patients who have significant adverse reactions to conventional anti-Parkinson’s treatments from the beginning and cannot use conventional drugs could benefit from the bioproduct as well as those who tolerate better natural products in general.
Selective protection of dopaminergic neurons
Preclinical studies have demonstrated a high potential for the protection of dopaminergic neurons, which helps to slow the progression of the disease. This neuroprotective quality of the bioproduct, combined with its excellent tolerance without undeniable side effects, suggests that the product has an excellent profile also for its use in the prevention of the disease. It has been demonstrated that the active ingredients contained in the product can selectively protect dopaminergic neurons. This characteristic of the product could indeed be a key in all the phase of Parkinson’s disease. It would preserve the remaining dopaminergic neurons and therefore slow down the process of degeneration.
The bioproduct has already been launched on the market
The conclusions of these scientific studies suggest that the food supplement, which is already on sale on the internet, could contribute to significantly improve the quality of life of patients, considering that patients need solutions and efficient results right now due to their often situation which is often dramatic.
Would it be once more nature that will open us complementary ways solutions by offering us major advances for a better life quality for those who are concerned by this terrible disease?
In any case, it is very interesting to notice that research is targeting the development of natural products again, even if the compounds of nature are not patentable and that consequently, the potential profits are minor compared to the synthetic molecules …
Live better Parkinson
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Scientific articles are published and accessible on the websites of the following scientific journals: “Journal of Genomic Medicine and Pharmacogenomics”; “Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences”; “Clinical & Medical Biochemistry”; “Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine & Molecular Diagnostics”; “Journal of Exploratory Research in Pharmacology”; “International Journal of Molecular Science”; “Current Pharmaceutical Design”.