Increased Estrogen May Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease In Women, Says Marla Ahlgrimm, RPh

Marla AhlgrimmAccording to Women’s Health America founder and pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, women who pass through menopause naturally may be up to 50% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who experience unnatural estrogen reduction.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s is a neurologic disorder that affects the way a person moves. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, many people present mild symptoms at onset which may include slight hand tremors or slurred, soft speech. As the disease progresses, total body movement can be affected, including a person’s ability to perform automatic functions. Marla Ahlgrimm defines automatic functions as those the body performs without intention, like blinking. It is believed that Parkinson’s is caused by brain cell degeneration.

Mayo Clinic study

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the Mayo Clinic performed a study to determine if there was a correlation between estrogen levels and Parkinson’s. The theory was that women who underwent a hysterectomy would be more susceptible to Parkinson’s due to a sudden drop in estrogen levels. Researchers found probable cause to believe the theory was true and determined that those who lost estrogen prematurely due to hysterectomy were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s.

How does estrogen protect against Parkinson’s?

The National Institute of Health reports that estrogen may work to protect the nigrostriatal pathway that is damaged during with Parkinson ’s disease. Since dopamine release is directly influenced by estrogen levels, this may explain the Mayo Clinic’s findings.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the study was the first of its kind to actually link Parkinson’s with hysterectomy. Fortunately, women have options for replenishing lost estrogen. Natural HRT, an area where Marla Ahlgrimm is the definitive expert, has become more and more popular among postmenopausal women. The National Library of Medicine states that symptoms of Parkinson’s may be “delayed or alleviated” with HRT but cautions that other factors such as age and length of dosing period are also important and affect HRT’s effectiveness.

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