About six months of a ketogenic diet, one low in carbohydrates and high in fat, reduced motor symptoms and anxiety and depression while improving cognition in a woman with mild Parkinson’s disease, a case study found.
These findings suggest that the ketogenic diet may provide an additional, non-pharmacological way of addressing motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, and support its further evaluation in appropriately controlled trials, The study author said.
Case Report, “Effects of the ketogenic diet on symptoms, biomarkers, depression and anxiety in Parkinson’s disease: a case studyPosted in Curious Journal of Medical Science,
People with Parkinson’s disease can experience a variety of motor difficulties and non-motor symptoms, such as cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
Current pharmacological treatments often have little or no effect on these non-motor symptoms, and dietary approaches are gaining interest as potential add-on strategies for the management of Parkinson’s.
The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a type of low-carb/healthy-fat (LCHF) diet with limited protein intake. A small previous trial showed that adopting a keto diet for 2.5 months reduced patients’ non-motor symptoms more than those on a low-fat diet.
Although the mechanisms underlying these benefits are unclear, the induced switch in the body’s energy source from standard glucose, or sugar, to fatty ketones “may maintain and reduce systemic energy demands for the brain”. [brain] Inflammation, especially in PD. in older people [Parkinson’s disease]”The author wrote.
Ketones are fat-derived molecules produced by the liver to serve as an energy source when glucose (sugar) is not readily available.
A researcher at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Arizona described the case of a 68-year-old woman with mild Parkinson’s whose motor and non-motor symptoms were reduced by a keto diet.
The woman, who could still move and do daily activities without help, had slow movement of the legs, moderate hand tremors, and leg pain. She also reported mild-to-moderate feelings of depression and anxiety, occasional sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, and blood sugar control issues.
She was on standard Parkinson’s medication.
The woman was obese, and exercised with a personal trainer two to three times a week. She followed a standard diet with low fat, but admitted to consuming mostly processed foods and sugar.
A traditional ketogenic diet — consisting of 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs — recommended food list for 24 weeks (about six months), with the help of a cookbook with recipes was started from. Meal planning, and a food-tracking tool called the MyFitnessPal app.
A keto-mojo device was also provided for daily home measures to measure blood glucose and ketone levels to help assess adherence to the diet.
Assessments covering health biomarkers, disease severity, and anxiety and depression levels were also performed at diet (baseline measure), mid-diet (12 weeks), and before the end of the intervention (24 weeks).
Health biomarkers include weight, body mass index (weight-to-height ratio), waist circumference and blood levels of HbA1c (a marker of glucose control), fasting insulin, triglycerides, HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ and C-reactive cholesterol. Proteinase, an inflammation biomarker.
Specifically, based on reports of her high HbA1C levels, low HDL, waist circumference of more than 35 inches, and high blood pressure at baseline, the woman qualifies for metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that together lead to heart disease, stroke. increases the risk of. , and type 2 diabetes.
Dietary compliance was confirmed from the beginning of the diet through week 24, with an average blood ketone reading of 0.5 nanomoles indicating sustained nutritional ketosis – the state in which the body can most effectively use stored fat for energy. Is.
The diet showed a gradual improvement in all health biomarkers at 12 and 24 weeks, including an increase in HDL levels and a decline in HbA1c, C-reactive protein, triglycerides and fasting insulin levels. Underweight, waist circumference and cardiovascular risk factors were also observed.
At the end of the 24-week keto diet, the woman “no longer met the criteria for a metabolic syndrome diagnosis,” the researcher wrote.
Specifically, “PD may be associated with an increase in CRP”. [C-reactive protein] levels” and even though the woman’s CRP levels “were not significantly elevated at baseline, the 24-week results indicated a reduction in this marker of inflammation,” the authors said.
The total score of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, a measure of disease severity, was higher at the end of the regimen, indicating worsening of the disease. However, tremors had subsided at 12 weeks and pain in the lower extremities was reported to have decreased marginally at 12 weeks, with no improvement at 24 weeks.
Improvements in concentration and reduction in symptoms of depression, hand tremors, and painful sensations in the lower extremities were reported at week 12. Most of these gains, without any change, persisted at week 24.
In agreement, symptoms of depression, when specifically assessed with the Center for Epidemiological Studies, were moderately reduced at the end of the Depression Scale-Revised, Diet. The Parkinson’s Anxiety Scale score, a measure of anxiety symptoms, was also lower at 12 and 24 weeks.
The clinical relevance of these improvements is unclear, the report said.
The findings suggest that the ketogenic diet “may be safe and effective in improving patients with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PD as biomarkers of health.” [mild] PD,” wrote the researcher.
The report states, “Empowering individuals with PD through a more personalized nutritional approach to symptom management can be achieved by providing supportive treatment approaches with drug therapy to reduce symptoms and improve function.” “
In the future to further evaluate the effectiveness of the LCHF/keto diet in improving cognitive function and controlling or reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and both motor and non-motor symptoms in PD, the researchers concluded. Controlled clinical trials are needed.