Exploring the Link between Smart Drugs and Parkinsons
Smart drugs are known to be cognitive-boosting nootropics. They work to increase focus, concentration, memory and energy and many have neuro-protective effects. It is only natural that they could have a good effect on neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
This disease affects most of your body and brain because of problems with certain nerve cells in the brain. When someone has Parkinson’s Disease, nerve cells are broken down and can’t make enough dopamine. Dopamine is the key neurotransmitter that sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. When there isn’t enough dopamine, the signals get frayed and your ability to move your body is weakened.
Scientists still don’t know why the nerve cells get broken down, but some theories suggest plain old aging, but also toxins in the environment and abnormal genes. The symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, trembling, stiff muscles, slow movement and balance problems.
Parkinson’s is progressive, getting work as the disease progresses until patients can’t even swallow or pass bowel movements. There is no cure and symptoms begin as early as age 50 or 60.
What can we do?
While there is no cure, there is some promising research that suggests that supplementation can have an effect on the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Nootropics that include dopamine agonists were shown to decrease or eliminate hallucinations in Parkinson’s patients in one study. Hallucinations and dementia are symptoms of later-stage Parkinson’s disease.
Bacopa monnieri is a neuro-protective botanical and was used in one study on Parkinson’s patients. This study found that it prevented dopaminergic neurodegeneration and restored lipid content in the nematodes. Basically, it has some good potential as a treatment or preventative in Parkinson’s disease.
Commonly used by bodybuilders for helping to increase muscle mass, creatine is a smart drug that may have some effect on patients with Parkinson’s disease. Because creatine preserves the creation of dopamine in the brain, it may help to calm or relieve Parkinson’s symptoms. It may also be a useful neuroprotective strategy for those at high risk of getting Parkinson’s Disease. One study found that creatine monohyrdrate protects the brain against the depletion of dopamine.
While those are just two of the best smart drugs being explored to have an impact on lessening the progression of Parkinson’s Disease in patients and preventing it from occurring in high-risk individuals, it is exciting to know of the potential impact on improving the lives of those individuals with neuro-degenerative conditions. It will be interesting to see what the future will hold in the study of smart supplementation and how it can better the brain.