Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

Could a calorie rich diet slow the progress of Parkinson’s?

A natural side effect of Parkinson’s disease is gradual weight loss due to the onset of persistent tremors, limb and muscle tightness and a loss of balance, which ultimately leads to decreased levels of activity and frailness.

Could this weight loss be a contributing factor to increased mortality rates in those that suffer from Parkinson’s?

The Parkinson’s Weight-Loss Study

A new study conducted by Dr. Angus Macleod of the University of Aberdeen speculates that a calorie-rich diet could help to slow down the progress of Parkinson’s and increase life expectancy.

Ultimately, this research found that an increase in daily calorie consumption could offset weight loss, helping those with Parkinson’s to live a more active lifestyle.

During the study conducted by Dr. Angus Macleod, 187 Parkinson’s sufferers and 88 people with atypical Parkinsonism were studied over the course of 10-years. During this time, Dr. Macleod and his team assessed how weight loss in Parkinson’s sufferers affected three different outcomes:

  1. Dependency on care givers
  2. The onset of dementia 
  3. Mortality rates.

The study revealed that those with Parkinson’s and atypical Parkinsonism displayed a 2.23-times risk of developing dementia, and a 1.23-times greater risk of death. While dependency on care givers was also drastically affected.

Overall, the study revealed how common weight loss is among those suffering from Parkinson’s and the increased rate of frailty and dependency on care givers

Meaningful Lifestyle Interventions

Ultimately, Dr. Macleod and his team believe that lifestyle interventions in order to slow the progress of Parkinson’s are necessary – and one of these includes adopting a calorie-rich diet in order to slow the symptoms weight loss.

If you are a care giver providing support for someone with Parkinson’s, speak to a health practitioner about drawing up a healthy, calorie-rich diet for your loved one or care receiver. This could go a long way to increasing their quality of life and potentially minimising the progression of this disease.

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