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Dietary restrictions to boost neurological function

23rd January 2006

Dietary restrictions could be used to help patients in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

New research suggests that reducing the daily calorie intake in people with Parkinson's encourages the brain to boost levels of essential chemicals needed in motor control functions.

Studies showed an increase in levels of the brain neurotransmitter glutamate, which usually decreases in sufferers, reports Medicine News.

Authors of the work believe it will help to develop new treatments and to provide a better understanding of what happens in the brain during the early stages of the disease.

"The fact that we're getting the levels of glutamate back to, essentially, control levels may indicate there are certain synapse changes going on in the brain to counteract the effects of Parkinson's," explained Charles Meshul, one of the authors.

"In fact, what this may indicate is a reversal of locomotor deficits associated with the disease."

Mr Meshul said that the lab would continue to research the theory and added that recent studies had also supported claims that exercise can help to boost neurological function in sufferers.