I recently was asked to consult on a case of a set designer with multiple years on Broadway who developed Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in his early 50s. Within five years, he was no longer able to live independently.
MSA is such a horrid disease. Characterized by younger onset, atypical Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), bad gait, ataxia, dysarthria, cerebellar strokes and autonomic failure, the slow and awful progression of MSA - like many others - indicates strong genetic linkage disequilibrium.
But the mysterious mis-folded proteins and weird inclusion granules (OGI's or oligodendroglial inclusion bodies) and widespread neuronal cell death and destruction seen post mortem in MSA have led many to start really looking at MSA epigenetics.
In a stellar article, world-renowned movement disorder specialist Dr. Joseph Jancovic says that the cause of PKD and MSA are environmental toxins including pesticides and solvents.
And this 2014 article in Experimental Neurobiology notes, "There has been emerging evidence that neurodegenerative diseases are linked to exposure to chronic neurotoxic substances and other risk environmental factors resulting in a higher risk of disease development."
Causative environmental factors, to name a few, include:
To counter this, it’s critical that patients make a comprehensive list of their toxin exposure beginning early in life. No doubt we all need to be concerned about the ill effects of environmental toxins in our air, water, soil, homes, food etc.
At Gazda Integrative Neurology, we will develop a comprehensive wellness plan that includes healthy organic non-GMO food, a regular detox protocol, good quality sleep, exercise to lower stress and more. As a coordinated plan of care, this can all go a long way in preventing and sometimes even reversing disease.
by Suzanne Gazda M.D.