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Parkinson's: Excess calcium leads to the formation of toxic clusters


Is excess calcium a trigger for Parkinson's?

Calcium is one of the most important elements for maintaining life. The mineral is especially needed for healthy bones and healthy teeth. But the heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly. However, researchers have now found that excessive amounts of the mineral in brain cells lead to the formation of toxic clusters.

The researchers at the internationally recognized University of Cambridge discovered in their study that excess amounts of calcium form toxic clusters in brain cells. These are involved in the development of Parkinson's. The experts published the results of their study in the journal "Nature Communications".

What is Parkinson's disease?

The toxic clusters found in the study are particularly common in Parkinson's. Parkinson's disease is a so-called neurodegenerative disease in which the central nervous system influences movement. The disease is typically caused when naturally occurring proteins fold into the wrong shape and stick to other proteins in the brain and eventually form thin filament-like structures, the doctors explain. These amyloid deposits of aggregated alpha-synuclein, also known as Lewy bodies, are the typical sign of Parkinson's disease.

Effects of too much calcium

The results show that calcium significantly influences the interaction between small, membrane-like structures within the nerve endings (important for neuronal signal transmission in the brain) and alpha-synuclein (protein associated with Parkinson's disease). It is the surpluses that can cause this problem. The scientists found that an excess of calcium or alpha-synuclein plays a role in initiating the chain reaction that leads to brain cell death.

Alpha synuclein is almost like a calcium sensor

It has been demonstrated for the first time that calcium influences how alpha-synuclein interacts with synaptic vesicles, explains study author Dr. Janin Lautenschlager from the University of Cambridge. Alpha synuclein is almost like a calcium sensor. In the presence of calcium, it changes its structure and its interaction with its surroundings, which is probably very important for its normal function, added Dr. Lautenschager added.

Too much calcium in the body causes problems

In their study, the team isolated so-called synaptic vesicles, a part of the nerve cells that store the neurotransmitters that send signals from one nerve cell to another. Calcium in neurons plays a role in the release of neurotransmitters. The researchers found a fine balance between calcium and alpha-synuclein in the cell. If there is too much calcium in the body, the problem begins. The balance is tipped and aggregation begins, which leads to Parkinson's disease, the experts say.

Cinnamon can slow Parkinson's progression

While Parkinson's disease cannot be fully treated, adequate exercise can slow it down. It also helps add cinnamon to your daily diet. Cinnamon is not only a commonly used kitchen spice, but also a healing ingredient that is known to cure a lot of health problems. A study published a few weeks ago in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology found that cinnamon can help slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Soak the cinnamon sticks in water

One of the best ways to enjoy the full health benefits of cinnamon is to soak a cinnamon stick in water. This water must then be drunk regularly. Water enriched with cinnamon is a true miracle drink with countless positive properties. Oral cinnamon is metabolized to sodium benzoate in the liver. This then penetrates the brain, stops the loss of important proteins, protects neurons, neutralizes the neurotransmitter level and further improves the motor functions in mice with Parkinson's disease. (as)

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