New Research Shows Salicylic Acid Targets A Pathway To Cell Death In Parkinson's, And It's Better With Licorice!
April is Parkinson's Awareness month! This post highlights some exciting new research in Parkinson's Disease (PD) at Cornell University.
Researchers found that the main ingredient in aspirin may stop the process leading to cell death in PD. The published paper can be found here. The compound is called salicylic acid and is found naturally in many plants. Scientists were studying its effect on cell death in plants when they noticed its similarities to a medication called selegiline, used to prolong the anti-parkinson activity of levodopa.
To understand its potential to treat PD, the researchers know they would need to study it in human cells. They tested three forms of salicylic acid (plant-derived, synthetic, and a form from Chinese medicinal herb licorice) to see if it could prevent cell death in human cells.
This research shows that salicylic acid may interact with an enzyme linked to PD to stop cell death in laboratory settings. This opens the door to development of compounds that are similar to, but more effective than, aspirin. Undoubtedly, more research is needed. Note, although salicylic acid is a main component of aspirin, aspirin itself has not been shown to be beneficial in PD.
In this study, a medicinal Chinese herb was as effective as a synthetic compound, and more effective than aspirin itself. Meanwhile, eating licorice for these therapeutic purposes is not recommended. The licorice used in this study is a specific form derived from Chinese medicine.
About licorice root:
Licorice root, Radix Glycyrrhizae, is traditional Chinese herb that tonifies energy, especially in the digestive and respiratory systems. In combination with other herbs, it releases cramps and alleviates pain, is used as a poison antidote, can lessen the harsh and toxic nature of other herbs, and enhances the overall effects of an herbal formula.
Source: Parkinson Disease Foundation
It's Parkinson's Awareness Month!
Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. Up to 85% of people with Parkinson’s report pain as a major complaint. In Parkinson’s, most pain is a result of injured tissue from persistent tremor, muscle rigidity, dystonia, or musculoskeletal injury.
Untreated pain can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. The level of pain a person feels is influenced by emotional factors, how he or she views the pain, and how he or she pays attention to it. Feeling helpless, or reacting to pain with a high level of stress, can worsen pain.
The best pain management choice includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Traditional Chinese medicine treatments are one of many options to choose from. Not only can acupuncture and herbal medicine decrease muscle tension, but it also helps with factors that compound pain, such as poor sleep, depression, or anxiety.
Source: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Thoughts and practical tips to help you look and feel your best based in the wisdom of Chinese medicine.
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