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Is There a Cure for Parkinson’s Disease?

Many people wonder: is Parkinson's disease curable? Unfortunately, at this time, there is no way to prevent Parkinson's disease from progressing when you are diagnosed. The good news is, there are plenty of treatment options available to Parkinson's patients, including medications that can control symptoms for months or years without intervention. While Parkinson's disease isn't curable, there are also lifestyle changes, homeopathic treatments and natural remedies for Parkinson’s disease symptoms worth exploring.

Why Isn’t Parkinson’s Disease Curable?

With decades of research into this illness, why haven’t scientists found a cure for Parkinson’s disease? Unfortunately, the brain isn't straightforward, and every case of Parkinson's presents slightly differently. As such, there are no specific biomarkers for the disease, making it hard to diagnose and even harder to treat.

The bottom line is, there is still a lot about the brain that we don't understand. Parkinson's is a complex disease and many unanswered questions about Parkinson's remain. On top of all of this, recruitment for clinical trials can be difficult, and many get delayed for this reason.

The Future of Parkinson’s Disease: What We Know

In the past 50 years, researchers have made vital discoveries about Parkinson’s medications and treatments, and we now have a better understanding of what causes Parkinson’s disease – including its genetic component. With the right investment, researchers predict we will be able to find a Parkinson’s disease cure in a matter of years, not decades.

Researchers also recognize that, as the disease presents so differently in each patient, there may not be a single "cure" for Parkinson's disease. However, scientists believe that the right combination of treatments, therapies and strategies (such as new drugs and brain surgery for Parkinson's) could stop the progression of the disease entirely.

Clinical trials are taking place in the following areas:

  • Stem cell treatment: This approach will use healthy, live cells to replace or repair the damage in the brains of Parkinson’s patients ("Could Stem Cell Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease Be the Holy Grail?").
  • Gene therapies: This treatment will use genetics to reprogram cells in the brain and change their behavior, helping them stay healthy for longer.  
  • Growth and development of brain cells: This approach will use naturally-occurring molecules to help brain cells survive.
  • Medications: Scientists are testing existing medicines that are used to treat other conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, to see if they pose any benefits for people with Parkinson's disease.

Is There a Natural Cure for Parkinson’s Disease?

While many of us wish there was a natural cure for Parkinson's disease, nothing – natural or otherwise – has been proven to stop the symptoms completely. There are, however, natural remedies that many Parkinson's patients find useful when managing their conditions.

Natural remedies for Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Exercise can be highly effective at helping Parkinson’s patients strengthen their muscles, improve flexibility and care for their mental health.
  • Nutrition is also important. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Research claims that, while no single diet can treat Parkinson’s disease, you should generally try to stick to a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The Foundation also recommends avoiding fermented, aged or cured food products, as these can elevate blood pressure when mixed with certain Parkinson’s medications.
  • Alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture, massage and hypnosis are generally thought to be safe for people with Parkinson’s disease, and many patients find them helpful. However, you should always check with your doctor before trying new exercises or homeopathic treatments for Parkinson's.
  • Antioxidants have many health benefits, and there is some evidence to suggest that they can even offset the cellular damage caused by Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidant-rich foods include dark chocolate, eggs, legumes, artichokes, bell peppers, potatoes, grains, apples and more.  

One of the first questions you might ask when you are diagnosed is: "Is there a cure for Parkinson's disease?" Unfortunately, we're not quite there yet. However, scientists are edging closer to a cure, and new research is surfacing all the time. If you want to help speed up a cure for Parkinson's disease, you can take part in a clinical trial, such as the ones listed on the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation website.

article references

APA Reference
Smith, E. (2020, February 9). Is There a Cure for Parkinson’s Disease?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parkinsons-disease/treatment/is-there-a-cure-for-parkinsons-disease

Last Updated: February 17, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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