Coffee-drug for Parkinson’s and dementias?

We have been told the benefits of caffeine (see more info HERE).

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What researchers are finding is that caffeine, the world’s most widely used drug, does more than wake people up. Caffeine is linked to improvements in memory and appears to protect against the destruction of brain cells. One of the results find that people who drank two or more cups of coffee a day had a 40 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Because of these findings, some companies have been designing drugs to replicate the benefits of caffeine. The challenge is to go beyond the buzz of caffeine to achieve a more powerful effect on the brain — without side effects like headaches, irritability and jitters. But this hasn’t been easy. For example, Merck ended development of such a treatment for Parkinson’s disease last year after late-stage testing suggested it didn’t work. Other developers have postponed plans.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s. Drug developers are focusing on the way caffeine targets sites in an area deep in the brain called the basal ganglia, which is affected by Parkinson’s and plays a key role in movement. The medicines specifically aims to target and block adenosine A2A receptors. The goal of drug-makers is to improve movement in Parkinson’s; existing treatments become less effective over time, and side effects harder to endure.

… what are your thoughts on a “coffee pill” for the brain? Do you consume caffeine? much love.

more information and adapted from: bloom.bg/1gGePNm

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Dance for Parkinson’s: BALLET

Can learning to point/flex your toes and turn out your feet improve muscle control and movement in people living with Parkinson’s disease?

New research is saying YES!

… as a “ballerina” since the age of 4 (well, if my current once/week adult ballet classes count!), I am really inspired by the ability of ballet to improve brain function in Parkinson’s disease.

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dancing snowflake (june 1989)

1990 June Kate's Ballet Recital

again, a snowflake (june 1990)

New research at McMaster/Western Universities in collaboration with Canada’s National Ballet School will see how the brain reacts and learns in people with Parkinson’s in relation to music and acquired movements related to the rhythm and  beat of music.

They are testing the idea that the brain can develop new pathways if stimulated with learning ballet. This could help improve mobility in people with Parkinson’s.

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As part of the Dance for PD program, Saturday sessions are offered for people with Parkinson’s, their carers and family members within the professional environment of English National Ballet. Recently, there was a BBC news clip about the benefits of ballet for people with Parkinson’s, offered by the English National ballet; check it out HERE.

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Have you tried ballet? Are you learning any new dance moves? I’d love to hear how you are pointing your toes for better brain function in the comments below! much love.