DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR DEMENTIA OR ANY OTHER DISEASE.
My uncle was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia just shortly after Robin Williams took his own life as a result of this disease and the symptoms it causes. My uncle’s wife is a nurse, so she was familiar with Parkinson’s, but despite having close relationships with doctors at the hospital where she’d worked her whole life, she still knew of nothing that could help her husband with Lewy Body Dementia.
The idea that Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease are related disorders isn’t common knowledge, but it’s an important fact if you’re searching for treatment options for Lewy Body Dementia. These two diseases belong to the same Disease Family Tree. Lewy Body Dementia is a relatively recent discovery (first described in 1976 by Kenji Kosaka) so there’s little research and just a few treatment options. On the other hand, knowledge of Parkinson’s disease has been around much longer (James Parkinson first described this disorder back in 1817) which means that the research is extensive and treatment options have been better studied.
As I worked to research Lewy Body Dementia for my uncle I learned that scientists could see the connection between LBD and Parkinson’s. Lewy Body Dementia appears, in fact, to be a manifestation of Parkinson’s Disease wherein the first symptoms are not trembling, but rather symptoms of dementia. As such, Parkinson’s Disease treatments may work to help treat Lewy Body Dementia patients. In terms of my uncle, this became really important when I started reading about Mucuna pruriens (also marketed as the natural, pure version of L-Dopa) which has been used by integrative medicine doctors for quite some time to treat their symptoms. I talk about how to use Mucuna pruriens for Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia in another article, so I won’t go into a lot of depth on that here. What I will say though, is that my uncle experienced some amazing progress when he started taking the Mucuna. His thoughts got clearer and his gait got straighter. The people around him noticed that he was doing much better.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about Mucuna (and L-Dopa supplements), what it is and how it works. The confusion stems from the fact that there’s a synthetic pharmaceutical known as Levodopa that’s combined with Carbidopa into one product that is known just as “Levodopa” or “L-Dopa”. These two combined pharmaceuticals unfortunately cause serious side effects and they eventually stop working for Parkinson’s patients and Lewy Body Dementia patients. But Mucuna (and natural L-Dopa supplements) is different. Specifically, Mucuna supplements (which may be labeled as L-Dopa), are naturally occurring substances. They have not been synthetically modified in a lab which means that the brain won’t eventually reject them in the same way that the brain eventually rejects synthetic Levodopa (and Carbidopa). Further, Mucuna pruriens is a bean. It’s food. And there are places in the world where people eat the bean every day as part of their staple diet. As a food item that provides an important source of protein to people in Central America and Asia, Mucuna is clearly safe and people don’t suffer the same negative side effects that come about when patients take synthetic Levodopa+Carbidopa over a long period of time.
But again, there’s a lot of misinformation online about Mucuna and natural L-Dopa that’s been extracted from the Mucuna bean. But this bean is one of the most important natural treatment options for Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia. Don’t get confused by the hype online when you Google Mucuna. Research supports the use of the Mucuna bean to treat Lewy Body Dementia as well as Parkinson’s.
Vitamin C, B Complex, Magnesium, Methylene Blue, Mucuna, and NAC for Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia
NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) is an important antioxidant that works well with Mucuna pruriens as well as Methylene Blue. NAC helps detoxify the brain, so it can be used for addiction and any mental health problem that involves anxiety or obsessive thoughts or repetitive behaviors (including addiction). Though the positive effects of taking NAC in high doses are typically not as pronounced in Parkinson’s patients or Lewy Body Dementia patients as the effects of Mucuna pruriens, combining NAC with Mucuna, Methylene Blue, and daily doses of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in how clearly Lewy Body Dementia patients think or in how smooth a Parkinson’s patients movements are.
This protocol for Parkinson’s can help patients replenish dopamine levels while also rebuilding dopamine receptors. While NAC helps protect dopamine receptors from oxidative damage, Mucuna ensures that the brain has all of the precursor molecules needed to manufacture plenty of dopamine. Methylene Blue, in turn, keeps the blood oxygenated and it has neuroprotective effects too to help those dopamine receptors continue to rebuild. Methylene Blue is also a reversible Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) so it can help promote the release of serotonin and norepinephrine (other neurotransmitters that work together with dopamine) to boost healthy thinking and movement patterns. Vitamin C helps rebuild tissues and maintain balanced immune health. And then, importantly, magnesium and B complex vitamins (especially vitamin B6 at 25-50 mg per day) help the body absorb and use the Mucuna pruriens.
Below is a description of a natural Parkinson’s treatment that will also help Lewy Body Dementia patients
- Mucuna pruriens – Take 6,000 to 15,000 mg per day in divided doses. Taking a lower amount of 1000-1500 mg per dose can reduce nausea. If nausea is a problem, consider taking 100 mg of 5-HTP with the Mucuna.
- NAC – Take 2400 mg per day. Take 600 mg every four to six hours.
- Methylene Blue – Take 1 mg/kg of body weight daily. Divide the doses to prevent nausea.
- Vitamin C – Take 6000 mg per day in divided doses.
- B Complex Vitamins – Make sure the B complex vitamin contains at least 25-50 mg of vitamin B6. Take one daily.
- Magnesium – Take 400 to 600 mg per day. Higher doses may be helpful if relaxation is an issue, but sometimes Magnesium can cause diarrhea. If you take a higher dose and it causes diarrhea, scale back the dose by half the next day.
This treatment protocol could easily be combined with PEMF Therapy which has been shown to significantly reduce tremors in Parkinson’s patients. And patients may also want to consider seeking out stem cell therapy to help rebuild brain cells and dopamine receptors that have been hopelessly damaged.
Other Important Links:
Tardiolo, G., Bramanti, P., Mazzon, E. (2018). Overview on the Effects of N-Acetylcysteine in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Retrieved April 28, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320789/#:~:text=In%20addition%20to%20the%20uses,prevention%20of%20cognitive%20aging%20dementia.
Goetz, C. G. (2011). The History of Parkinson’s Disease: Early Clinical Descriptions and Neurological Therapies. Retrieved April 28, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234454/#:~:text=Parkinson’s%20disease%20was%20first%20medically,earlier%20descriptions%20(Parkinson%201817).
Wikipedia (2021). Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Retrieved April 28, 2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia_with_Lewy_bodies
Takahashi, J.(2007). Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease. Retrieved April 28, 2021 fro https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17563250/#:~:text=The%20aim%20of%20stem%20cell,cells%20or%20grafted%20dopaminergic%20neurons.