"You don't discover new continents if you don't have
the courage to lose sight of the old shores."
An elevated level of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood is neurotoxic and has been reported as a truly important risk factor for developing Parkinson's, as well as cardiovascular disease and dementia in the general population (McCully 1969, Boushey 1995, Seshadri 2002). Homocysteine increases oxidative stress, compromises mitochondrial function, and ultimately leads to neuronal apoptosis or death. In addition, a strong link has been found between homocysteine and DNA damage and excitotoxicity. All of them with an essential role in neurodegeneration (Mattson 2002, Zoccolella 2006. Martignoni 2007).
As Dr. Pizzorno puts it so crushingly …"Because of its central role in sulfur and methyl group metabolism, elevated levels of homocysteine would be expected to negatively affect the biosynthesis of all of the following: SAMe, carnitine, chondroitin sulfates CoA, CoQlo, creatine, cysteine, dimethylglycine, epinephrine, glucosamine sulfate, glutathione, glycine, melatonh, pantethine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, serine, and taurine."
It is widely accepted that normal plasma Hcy levels range from 5-15 μM; moderate hyperhomocysteinemia 15- 30 μM; intermediate hyperhomocysteinemia 30-100 μM; severe hyperhomocysteinemia >100 μM (Tchantchou 2006).
A level above 20 micromoles/L, increases the risk of developing Parkinson's up to 8.64 times (Saadat 2018).
Parkinson's patients have high homocysteine and those taking levodopa even higher (Mattson 2003, Obeid 2007). Some authors claim that a high level is largely responsible for the current progression of the disease (Yasui 2000, Muller 2001). This seems so, so important to me, that I think it's worth reading several times...
It also crosses and damages the blood-brain barrier, which is responsible for protecting the brain (Beard 2011, Kanath 2006, Tyagi 2008). A supplement of vitamin B9 or folic acid (alone or with vitamins B6 and B12) has been shown to reduce the level of homocysteine (Reutens 2002, Siniscalchi 2005, Postuma 2006) and and also reduces damage to the aforementioned protective barrier (Kalani 2014).
A diet rich in vitamin B9 prevents Parkinson's by 49% (Religa 2006).
Neurologists such as Alhskog, Marjama-Lyons, Siniscalchi, González Maldonado, etc. recommend the use of B9 or the three B vitamins (B6, B9 and B12).
Already in 1998, Malinow published the very interesting results of his study. Fortification of cereals with 499 and 665 mg of folic acid,
increased vitamin B9 in the blood by 64.8% and 105.7%, respectively. And homocysteine decreased by 11.0% and 14.0% (Malinow 1998).
The use of folic acid is very well tolerated. Pregnant women are prescribed 400 mcg/day to prevent malformations in the fetus. Ahlskog recommends to its Parkinson patients 2 mg B9, 25 mg B6 and 2000 mcg (2 mg) B12 to control the levels of the dangerous homocysteine.
If Parkinson's could be seen as a parasitic plant that feeds on host roots, homocysteine would be one of the main root, if not the most important. And its "antidote" is something simple, cheap and safe (Nallamothu 2000): vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate... alone or together with vitamins B6 and B12.
I would like to recall the work of two scientists.
The first one, the American pathologist Dr. Kilmer McCully, who was a pioneer in the investigation of the damage produced by high levels of homocysteine, especially to the cardiovascular system (1969) and who left us a surprising phrase: "Homocysteine is associated with more than a hundred diseases".
The second, to the Spanish neurologist Rafael González Maldonado, author of the book "Heterodox treatments in Parkinson's disease" (2004, 2013). He showed us already in those early dates the decisive importance of folic acid and homocysteine in Parkinson's disease. His book was key for my father and me. It has not yet been translated into English and other languages, despite being one of the most important books I know for patients and their families. One of the paradoxes of the Parkinson's world.
I reproduce it because you can see it all in Google Books.
It seems to me to be one of the most important pages written in these 203 years of modern Parkinson's history. Page 44 of "Heterodox treatments in Parkinson's disease", by the prestigious Spanish neurologist Rafael González Maldonado. In my opinion, one of the most important books that has been written about Parkinson's at any time and in any language (the most useful for me before and now, the one that helped me to wake up when I was "inside" the parkinsonian labyrinth). It was written in 2004 and revised in 2013, and should have been translated into every major language in the world by now. Another score to settle in the Parkinson's community.
«FOLIC ACID (VITAMIN B9).
It is necessary for the metabolism of nucleic acids and haemoglobin formation but folic acid ii has another very important function: to remove homocysteine from the blood, a substance that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, dementia and stroke, 734,1307 as well as Parkinson's, depression and 737 and even some cancers. 736 In adults, folic acid is neuroprotective, prevents physiological aging 732,735,736, and decreases the risk of Parkinson's. 290,737 Mice with Parkinson's MPTP make fewer dopaminergic lesions if they were given folic earlier. 290
To pregnant women i, the elderly ii and parkinsonians treated with levodopa should be given folic acid supplements.736,795 Levodopa increases homocysteine levels, which, in addition favouring other diseases is a possible cause of the progression of Parkinson's. 795,1278 Give folic acid supplements to Parkinsonians counteracts dangerous homocysteine and is a cheap and very recommended. 737,771,795
ii Older people often have elevated blood homocysteine that can be lowered with folic acid supplements.959».
Neurologist Dr. Rafael González Maldonado, "Tratamientos heterodoxos en la enfermedad de Parkinson", page 44.
Controlling homocysteine with vitamin B9 is still a pending subject in the Parkinson's world. I think it would change the disease as we know it today. Another one of those paradoxes that is so difficult to explain.
WARNING: Despite the safety of folic acid or vitamin B9, it is always advisable to consult a neurologist in each case.
(by Jesus Marquez Rivera - Parkinson's here and now)