Exercise and sleep in Parkinson’s

Hot off the research press is a journal article with a self-explanatory title: Effects of exercise on sleep in neurodegenerative disease.

It starts by summarising the main things that affect sleep in people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases as being:

  1. damage to the sleep-wake system in the brain, that affects the circadian rhythm and disrupts normal sleeping and waking patterns; and
  2. “secondary mechanisms” which include a raft of things like medication side effects, having to get up to the toilet during the night, poor sleep “hygiene”, sleep-related breathing disorders, and the environment in which you try to sleep.
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Magnificent mitochondria

Thomas Ryan and David Tumbarello, two British researchers, published a very interesting two-page review article due to be published in September 2021, but made available early.

It seems that mitochondria, the batteries in our cells, aren’t merely being driven by other, more high-status, parts of the cell. It looks like the mitochondria themselves might be in the driver’s seat, at least for some aspects of their activity. We should take more notice of them.

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Interest in Apathy – at last!

The more I observe people with Parkinson’s disease using photobiomodulation, the more astonishing and wonderful it is to see the positive effect of daily lights on the significant and debilitating symptom of apathy.

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Mental clarity vs brain fog

The term brain fog is not an official medical term, but we all know what it means, and we have all experienced it. Serious and creative thinking is hard enough to do at the best of times, but when brain fog descends, it is even more difficult. Unfortunately brain foggery seems to happen more often as we get older which is even more frustrating…

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Water and light…

In the last blog post, I told you about an excellent article called How and why does photobiomodulation change brain activity.

An ardent reader would know that I tend to wax lyrical about the way that red and near infrared light works directly and indirectly on the cell batteries, the mitochondria. The mitochondria contain special proteins that are able to respond to the light pulse. Some of these proteins are quite famous, like cytochrome c oxidase, which has been well studied and probably has its own fan club.

But guess what. Even if there is no cytochrome c oxidase present, mitochondria still respond to light.

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Research summary

I was asked today if ongoing research into the effects of red and near infrared light on Parkinson’s disease is validating the early observations.

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is most definitely yes!

Here are links to recent blog posts with recent research information from the peer-reviewed medical literature.

2019 – early results from a clinical trial – here

2019 case study journal article – here

2019 clinical trial – specifically looking at changes in motor or movement symptoms – here