Nutrition in Parkinson’s disease

Agnieszka Gorzkowska

Affiliation and address for correspondence
Aktualn Neurol 2017, 17 (4), p. 199–207
DOI: 10.15557/AN.2017.0022

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder with extensive motor and non-motor symptoms. Several specific dietary components have emerged as being of potential importance in the occurrence and course of Parkinson’s disease. Inappropriate nutrition is likely to aggravate neurodegenerative processes. Conversely, a proper diet can be an element of therapy and a potential neuroprotective factor that slows down the progression of the disease. Even the effectiveness of pharmacological treatment in Parkinson’s disease may be affected by dietary habits. Parkinson’s disease patients have also specific nutritional needs related to non-motor problems resulting from changes occurring in the course of the disease. Adequate nutrition needs also to be considered in the context of barriers posed by the disease in food intake. A proper diet in Parkinson’s disease should ensure the maintenance of normal body weight, meet the demand for proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals in accordance with the current standards, aid the effective action of drugs and therapy of the prevalent symptoms, and thus, in the light of current scientific research, facilitate a slower or milder course of the disease. Currently, the Mediterranean diet meets the most expectations in this case. However, it should be emphasized that the nutrition of each Parkinson’s disease patient requires a fully individual approach, taking into consideration the stage and the picture of the disease and comorbidities. A lack of fully effective management concerning dietary pattern is reflected by high rates of malnutrition in this population of patients. The article presents the current views on the dietary problems associated with Parkinson’s disease and the potential for using nutritional guidance to optimise the treatment of Parkinson’s disease patients.

Parkinson’s disease, diet, treatment

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