Progress and Prospects in Parkinson's Research/Causes/Deficiencies

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A number of toxins have proved to be direct causative factors for Parkinson’s Disease (Paraquat, Maneb, Rotenone, MPTP etc.) but collectively they account only for small proportion of the known cases. The principal causative agencies such as environmental triggers await discovery.

Yet, in spite of considerable effort and expenditure, nothing significant has come to light. The human cell is a complex chemical factory, ingesting all manner of proteins and molecules in order to fulfil its predestined role. It could be hypothesised therefore that some vital neurological ingredient might be missing and that PD is in fact a deficiency disease.

Deficiency diseases are by no means uncommon. Some examples are:- Diabetes (insulin), Goitre (iodine), Keshan disease (selenium) and Growth Disorder (zinc). The missing components are sometimes absent from diet, while others need to be manufactured within the body.

Some candidates are offered here for consideration.

Two of them viz Blood and Norepinephrine are noteworthy but cannot be taken as authoritative since:-

  • They have not been corroborated from any other source.
  • The observed effects may be secondary symptoms and not a primary cause.
  • No hypothesis is advanced to account for the results.

Two others, Zinc and Vitamin D, have attracted considerable attention, inspired a number of research projects and are the subject of clinical trials.


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Kaasinen et al [1] have found that the production of dopamine in the human brain varies according to the season and also the month of birth. The findings were based upon PET Scans of 109 PD patient.

The patients scanned during fall and winter had 15% higher tracer uptake in the right putamen compared to patients scanned during spring and summer. Patients born during winter and spring had 10% higher dopamine synthesis capacity in the left caudate , 8% higher capacity in the right caudate and 16% higher capacity in the putamen contralateral to the side of predominant motor symptoms compared to patients born during summer and fall (after correcting for differences in age, sex, disease severity, scanner and season of scanning).

Further Reading

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Health Direct on Deficiency Diseases

Common Deficiency Diseases

Wikipedia on Nutrition disorders.

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Blood - Glutathione - Norepinephrine - Vitamin D - Zinc


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  1. Kaasinen, V.; Jokinen, P.; Joutsa, J’; Eskola, O. and Rinne, J. O. (2012) Abstract Neurosci. Lett. (12) 01293-01301. Seasonality of striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in Parkinson's disease.