Common Natural Sweetener Mannitol May Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Nearly 1.5 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. Fortunately, a new study indicates that the artificial sweetener mannitol, a common component of sugar-free gums and candies, may hold potential for treating PD.

Researchers took interest in mannitol because, when given as an injection, it can reach the brain and stop some proteins in the body from clumping together (clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein are a well-known sign of PD.) In support of this idea, feeding mannitol to fruit flies improved their PD-like symptoms, allowing the flies to regain their normal movements.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved an oral form of mannitol as a diuretic to help flush excess water out of the body, and a mannitol injection to prepare people for chemotherapy.  Much research still needs to be done before we understand the impact on people with PD, for example, what doses would be needed to be safe and if the drug would be effective. So, people with PD should not attempt to medicate themselves by eating large amounts of sugar-free candy or chewing gum.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills and speech.  In its advanced stages, sufferers could become disabled, with problems feeding themselves, talking and walking.

Are you or a loved one suffering from Parkinson’s Disease? At The Fairfax Elder Care Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and their loved ones.  We can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs.  We help protect your hard-earned assets while maintaining your comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring your eligibility for critical government benefits. Please call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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