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Speaker & Session Highlights

This page highlights WPC 2010 faculty and their sessions giving attendees a sneak preview of what's to come. We are thrilled and honoured that these outstanding members of the Parkinson's community have agreed to participate in the WPC 2010. The speakers we highlight on this page are just a few of our speakers who we believe help move the science and care forward, expediting the discovery of a cure and improving quality of life for patients in the meantime.

Speakers of the Week: Lucille Leader, Dip ION MBANT NTCC

We asked each highlighted speaker to tell us about the talk they will be giving and/or why their topic is important and to project where they think the science in this area will be going in the future We also asked them to explain why this topic is important to people living with Parkinson's.

Speaker: Lucille Leader, Dip ION MBANT NTCC
Nutrition Director, Parkinson's Disease Management Clinic, Highgate Hospital, London UK
Talk Title: Nutrition and Dopamine Metabolism in Parkinson's Disease
Session: Nutrition and PD
Date: Friday October 1 2010
from 14:45-15:45

On what is innovative and new in the field of nutrition and why it's important to Parkinson's disease research overall, Lucille Leader explained that metabolic compromises are manifested in Parkinson's disease and that contemporary biochemical evidence, which forms the basis for Nutritional Therapy, points to the implication of nutritional aspects in these metabolic cellular functions.

Establishing the biochemical individuality at cellular level of each person with Parkinson's disease can enhance therapeutic management and potentially be of invaluable assistance in personalized, general cellular support within the constraints of a degenerative illness.

Some cellular problems manifested include:

Therefore, it is important for clinicians to assess, at cellular level, how to optimally support the metabolic and biochemical processes implicated in endogenous dopamine production, as well as those other cellular needs of the Parkinson's patient. It is essential that clinicians identify the cellular biochemical aberrations (excesses and deficiencies) by innovative contemporary laboratory tests (nutritional, other specialised biochemistry and routine medical). This enables the therapeutic spectrum to be broadened so that concomitant with dopaminergic pharmaceuticals, the appropriate adjuvant care based on "individualized" patient protocols which are supportive of metabolism, can be offered to patients.

Nutritional Therapy utilizes such biochemically-based analyses as part of its specialist approach. Patients, both "on" and "not yet" on dopaminergic drug therapy, may benefit from nutritional support based on their individual biochemistry. This is an innovative approach as to date monotherapy (dopaminergic drugs) has been the most popular form of management in Parkinson's disease. Although this is helpful in the control of Parkinson's disease symptoms, it has not taken into account the biochemical individuality of patients which could be contributory to their compromised cellular functions.

Also important in the field of Nutritional Therapy is the monitoring of Drug-Nutrient interactions. These special "trials" for the individual patient are aimed at reducing potential drug-induced side effects such as dyskinesia by ascertaining the most appropriate dose and timing of drugs for optimum efficacy. They are innovative and very helpful to patients, caregivers, neurologists, general practitioners, nutritional therapists and dieticians and will be presented at Ms. Leader's workshop.

Going one step further, we asked Ms. Leader where research in this field may go in the future and what we could expect to see from people studying this topic to which she responded: The gold standard, therapeutic approach to the management of Parkinson's disease has been the administration of pharmaceuticals: L-dopa, which the brain metabolizes to dopamine, as well as other dopaminergic drugs.

What has been relatively neglected has been interest into which biochemical factors could possibly be compromising the metabolic pathways of dietary protein ingestion to the endogenous production of dopamine in the brain, dopamine's further metabolism to noradrenaline and adrenaline as well as other associated biochemical disturbances.

My analytical work since 1996 has pointed the way to the analysis of the biochemical needs of metabolism in order for appropriate dietary protein to proceed metabolically. I have noted compromise in the production of digestive and other enzymes, which are dependent on nutritional co-enzymes. Enzymes initiate the breakdown of protein for its metabolism through to dopamine, digest carbohydrates and fats which are implicated in the mitochondrial cellular energy cycle and also assist in the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Other tests I have authorized have also demonstrated anti-oxidant deficiencies and other nutritionally-based aspects of cellular metabolism. As such, the way forward for research could be for every clinician to establish the "biochemical individuality" and cellular needs of each individual with Parkinson's disease. This would ensure that both dopamine metabolism from dietary protein, as well as other vital, associated cellular requirements, can be either up- or down-regulated by appropriate nutritional supplementation, dietary manipulation and enzymes.

In this way, extensive data about cellular deficiencies or excesses pertinent to Parkinson's disease could be collected for analysis by an appointed national or international data bank. The knowledge gleaned from this could provide information about necessary cellular supportĀ as adjuvant care alongside dopaminergic drug administration.

Lastly, we asked Ms. Leader to explain why someone living with PD should be interested in this work and/or how it will ultimately help someone living with PD to which she replied contemporary Nutritional Therapy offers people living with Parkinson's disease the opportunity to improve their functional health by using a two-fold approach encompassing both nutritional and pharmaceutical drug therapy. Clinical experience demonstrates that this may be helpful in reducing symptoms as well as promoting wellbeing and functional health, whether people have commenced drug therapy or not.

It is important for people with Parkinson's to realize that not only are they deficient in the neurotransmitter dopamine which controls their movement and is implicated in mood and stress control (dopamine metabolizes to adrenalin which the body releases in response to stress), but that there are additional cellular deficiencies and excesses which contribute to the inability of the body to metabolize an adequate supply of dopamine, as well as other cellular necessities which energize and protect cells.

Nutritional intervention can modulate many functional health aspects in Parkinson's, including the degree of chronic inflammation as well as up-regulating the production of cellular energy. Antioxidant enzymes can be supported in their role of quenching free radical cascade and may therefore contribute to neuro-protection from excess oxidative stress.

During the Workshop "Nutrition and Dopamine Metabolism in Parkinson's Disease" on October 1, 2010, I shall present the following subjects which will demonstrate how Nutritional Therapy can help people living with PD to improve their general functional health. These subjects are also of great importance to caregivers, enabling them, as well as people living with Parkinson's, to make informed choices about supportive therapy, with more confidence. Nutritional Therapy within the Functional Medicine context, will demonstrate a more personalized and effective "integrated" medical approach for people with PD.

Workshop Subjects include:

Read about Ms. Leader's most recent published work

Amongst other publications including the EPNN and EPDA journals, Lucille is the author and co-author of five successful books on Parkinson's Disease and an innovative publication about medical collaboration for Nutritional Therapists. She works in collaboration with her husband Dr Geoffrey Leader MB ChB FRCA who is an early pioneer in the concept of multidisciplinary management in Parkinson's Disease. He is the Medical Director of their multidisciplinary Parkinson's Disease Management Clinic at The Highgate Hospital, London UK.

Recent book publications:

Learn more about Lucille Leader

Ms. Leader is a Member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (MBANT), holds a Nutritional Therapy Council Certificate (NTCC), is a DipION Graduate of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) and a Council Member, Food and Health Forum, Royal Society of Medicine, UK.

Ms. Leader has lectured in Europe for the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) presenting Specialized Biochemically-based Nutritional Management in Parkinson's Disease, in Vienna at the First Congress for Sexuality and Nutrition in Parkinson's Disease, in South Africa for the Johannesburg Parkinson's Disease Society, and at UK Parkinson's Disease Support Groups. She was invited by The BBC in the UK and SABC in South Africa to broadcast on the subject of specialised nutritional management in Parkison's Disease.

She has lectured in the USA for the Parkinson's Resource Organization, from whom she received a "Quality of Life in Parkinson's" Award in 2004. In the UK she has received the CAM "Highly Commended Outstanding Practice Certificate Award" in 2008 and the CAM "Outstanding Practice Award" in 2010.

She is particularly interested in the biochemical and pathophysiological aspects of Parkinson's Disease and in the Functional Medicine approach to the application of biochemically-based, individualised nutritional recommendations as adjuvant care in the multi-disciplinary management of Parkinson's Disease. Her work includes (amongst other aspects) modulation of inflammation, the citric acid cycle, intestinal function and analysis of status (permeability, enzymes, gut flora, microbiology, parasites), adrenal function, addressing cellular deficiencies/excesses, weight control, specialised feeding (tube, IV), monitoring of drug-nutrient interactions, diet and neuro-protection.

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