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In addition to drug treatment for Parkinson's Disease, there are also protective treatments. Drug treatments are symptomatic treatments, as they treat the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Protective treatments or neuroprotecetive therapies try to stop the disease, or at least delay the start of the disease.
The substantia nigra is the part of the brain that is involved in the production of dopamine. Dopamine is the substance that keeps the joints lubricated. Cell loss in the substantia nigra is the actual cause of the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Neuroprotective treatments have been found to have some positive effects early in disease onset.
Selegiline inhibits the enzyme MAO-B. MAO-B breaks down dopamine, so the inhibition of MAO-B prolongs the dopamine action in the brain. While this drug has not been proven to stop Parkinson's Disease, in theory, it should slow the disease.
Coenzyme Q-10 affects the energy-generating mechanisms in cells. Cells must have energy to live and to work. Mitochondria is what gives the cells energy (it is the cell's “batteries”). Because the coenzyme Q-10 affects the cells, it can possibly help treat Parkinson's disease by “forcing” the cells to continue doing their jobs, which is producing and dispersing dopamine.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|