Doctors have long claimed that Parkinson’s Disease progresses to the final stages regardless of lifestyle factors.
But this idea has been challenged by a new study in Scientific Reports.
Research has identified three common habits that drastically accelerate Parkinson’s development. Stop these habits and experience improved quality of life.
A team of German researchers analyzed the data of 35,959 American Parkinson’s patients collected by the Fox Insight study.
They collected information on motor symptoms (such as tremors, speech problems, and difficulty walking) and non-motor symptoms (such as constipation, memory problems, sadness, and anxiety). They also looked at more specific aspects of the participants’ moods.
To investigate lifestyle factors, questionnaires were used that assessed habits including coffee drinking, aspirin use, and smoking.
A participant was classified as a coffee drinker if they had at least one cup of coffee per week for six months or more. Aspirin users were those who took at least two aspirin pills per week for six months or more. Smokers were those who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, had smoked at least one cigarette per day for six months or more, or had used smokeless tobacco at least once a day for more than six months.
To ascertain how long the participants had used these substances and intake levels, the scientists examined when the habits had started and stopped.
When comparing Parkinson’s symptoms and lifestyle factors they found:
1. Coffee drinkers experienced fewer issues with chewing and swallowing.
2. There was no connection between the duration of coffee consumption and either motor or non-motor symptoms.
3. The heaviest coffee drinkers reported more unexplained pain.
4. Those who took aspirin had a higher chance of experiencing tremors, issues with swallowing, and difficulties getting up from sitting.
5. People taking large doses of aspirin every week reported more problems with tremors, chewing and swallowing, balance, memory, unexplained pain, and getting up from sitting.
6. In respect of non-motor symptoms, aspirin users were more likely to experience constipation, unexplained pains, memory problems, changes in sex drive, and feeling light-headed. The more aspirin they took each week, the more issues they reported.
7. Smokers had more problems with drooling, swallowing, and freezing (sudden, brief inability to move).
8. Heavy smoking was correlated with greater problems with speech, excessive saliva, and issues with swallowing, balance, freezing, and getting up from sitting.
9. Smokers reported more non-motor symptoms like unexplained pains, memory issues, feeling sad, anxiety, changes in sex drive, and feeling light-headed.
All of these results mean that coffee is relatively helpful in small amounts, but that any aspirin and smoking worsen both motor and non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms and should, thus, be avoided.
Most importantly, this shows that lifestyle factors can impact Parkinson’s Disease progression. This comes as no surprise to me as I’ve helped thousands of readers to stop their Parkinson’s in its tracks using the simple lifestyle changes explained here…