Parkinson's linked to oxidative stress

Hyderabad: Oxidative stress, a mild or chronic inflammation, is found to play a role in Parkinson’s disease according to a recent study published in the Journal of Autophagy.

Oxidative stress occurs when there are not enough antioxidants in the body to neutralise the free molecules in the cells. The absence of antioxidants damages cells leading to damage of lipids and DNA and also increases chances of infection in the body.

The recent study found that a fat-rich diet leads to oxidative stress in the body. To add to this, there are metabolic changes due to aging, degeneration of cells and also mental stress which further damage cells.

The researchers who studied the co-relation between oxidative stress and Parkinson’s disease studied the food habits of both males and females to understand the gene pattern and followed them for a decade to evaluate the cell structures.

Food habits of males and females showed that a fat-rich diet leads to accumulation of toxins in the cells, which was one of the reasons for inflammation. Inflammation, either mild or chronic, was found mostly in the periphery of the nervous system such as the tips of fingers and toes.

Dr Radha Krishna, senior neurosurgeon, explained that inflammation has been linked to the damage of cells. “The connection of the brain to the body, and motor skills, are affected. Dietary factors are now being studied very closely. Earlier it was believed that only genes regulated the disease, but now it is found that apart from genes, food patterns also have a major impact.”

Foods rich in white sugar, processed foods, and high calorie foods taken on a regular basis cause oxidative stress. Dr V Narayan, senior neurologist, explained: “When there is an infection in the body, the immune system fights it and that is also the time oxidation increases in the body. Hence there are various reasons for the increasing oxidative stress in the body and that slow and gradual damage leads to this disease. Researchers are trying to find out the triggers which will help to deal with these stressors for prevention of the disease.”

According to senior neurosurgeon, Dr Alok Ranjan, oxidative stress could be reduced by doing physical exercises like walking, swimming, cardio exercises and yoga.

The exercise, Dr Ranjan said, will help the cells to rejuvenate and properly absorb nutrients. “The blood washes away the metabolic waste that accumulates in the body after exercise,” he said.

People should also avoid rich fatty foods, oily foods, white sugar and processed foods. “You should also opt for organic foods that are devoid of pesticides. These will help you in keeping the body free of infections caused by pesticides.

“Exercise is found to decrease the stress chemicals in the brain. Exercise is found to help improve the motor skills and helps the brain to reconnect,” the senior neurosurgeon explained.

Steps to reduce oxidative stress

Exercises like walking, swimming, cardio exercises and yoga can help cells to rejuvenate and properly absorb nutrients. The blood washes away the metabolic waste that accumulates in the body after exercise.Avoid fat rich foods like too oily foods, white sugar and also processed foods.Opt for organic foods, produced without using pesticides. These will help to keep the body free of infections.Exercise is found to decrease the stress chemicals in brain.Exercise is found to help improve the motor skills and helps the brain to reconnect.

— Inputs by senior neurosurgeon Dr Alok Ranjan

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