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< class="article__title title lions-mane-help-protect-fight-parkinsons-disease"> Lion's Mane Help Protect & Fight Parkinson's Disease?>
Lion's Mane Help Protect & Fight Parkinson's Disease?
Jun 15, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Lion's Mane Help Protect & Fight Parkinson's Disease?

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 10 min read

Medical researchers are exploring how lion's mane mushrooms may help to prevent or delay the onset of Parkinson's disease. Preliminary studies suggest that this fungus may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could protect neurons from damage. 

If further research confirms these findings, it could mean new hope for treating Parkinson's patients. So far, there is no cure for this neurodegenerative disorder, but early intervention can slow its progression. However, Lion's mane mushrooms may offer a new way to prevent and slow down Parkinson's disease

This detailed guide will explore using Lion's mane for Parkinson's disease. Keep reading to know whether the supplementation of Hericium Erinaceus can help you avoid Parkinson's disease or slow down its progression.

Parkinson's Disease: What Is It?

Like Alzheimer's disease and other diseases that cause mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease is an age-related degenerative brain disorder caused by the loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a decline in dopamine, which regulates the body's movements.

Read More: See how Lion's mane fights Alzheimer's disease

People with Parkinson's disease have involuntary shaking of body parts. The muscles become stiff and inflexible, and there is a slowing of movement. Depression, anxiety, imbalance, memory problems, and trouble sleeping are other symptoms associated with Parkinson's.

Lion's Mane Mushroom: How Beneficial Is It?

Lion's mane mushroom, also called Hericium Erinaceus or yamabushitake, is a pom-pom-like white mushroom that grows in dead hardwood trees in North America and Canada, typically during the late summer and fall. 

The mushroom can be cultured, and a vast array of natural products can be extracted from it. Supplements containing Lion's mane mushrooms are highly regarded for their exceptional brain-supporting benefits. Lion's mane is considered one of the best mushrooms for brain health

For thousands of years, Hericium Erinaceus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many treatments, including treating neurodegenerative diseases and restoring visual recognition memory.

Read More: Learn how Lion's mane improves memory

However, this is not all there is to using Lion's mane. The mushroom is not limited to offering brain health benefits—it also boosts physical health.

Lion's mane treats physical health conditions like diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. However, since our goal today is to dive deeper into how Lion's mane supports Parkinson's disease treatment, we won't focus on the other physical health benefits of the mushroom. 

The following sections will take a deeper look at the effectiveness of Lion's mane extract on Parkinson's disease. We will examine some potential Lion's mane mushroom Parkinson's benefits!

Lion's Mane Mushroom And Parkinson's Disease: What Do We Know?

Lion's Mane Mushroom And Parkinson's Disease: What Do We Know?

1. Promotes Neurogenesis: Lion's Mane Promotes Nerve Growth Factor Production

One of the most extraordinary properties of Lion's mane mushroom is its ability to stimulate the growth of nerve cells and neurons. The mushroom also has the potential to reduce nerve damage. Lion's mane supplements can potentially treat Parkinson's as neuron degeneration is the primary cause of its symptoms

In addition to providing lion's mane Parkinson's benefits, the mushroom's ability to stimulate nerve growth can help with various other mental health-related conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

Learn More: See how Lion's mane treats dementia

The best mushroom for Parkinson's disease, Hericium Erinaceus, increases the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)(1), a protein that regulates the growth, development, proliferation, and survival of neurons. The nerve growth factor supports memory, learning, and the ability of the nerve cells to rewire. 

Regarding Parkinson's mushroom treatment, Lion's mane mushroom extract also increases the expression of the Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF)(2), another protein that plays an essential role in the growth and survival of neurons—just like the nerve growth factor.

Erinacine A, a primary bioactive compound in Hericium Erinaceus extract, has an enhancing effect on NGF and BDNF. 

Read more: Learn how Lion's mane aids neurogenesis.  

According to studies done on animals(3) and looking at the impacts of Hericium Erinaceus, researchers discovered that the edible fungus might also increase the catecholamine levels in the locus coeruleus and hippocampus of the brain. This results in improved brain function on the cognitive function scale. This further has a direct positive impact on Parkinson's disease. 

2. Combats Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress(4) is essential in degenerating dopamine-secreting neurons in Parkinson's disease. By oxidative stress, we mean the imbalance between the damaging actions of harmful oxygen molecules and the body's defense against them.

Rated among the best mushrooms for Parkinson's, Lion's mane mushroom has potent antioxidant properties due to the presence of beta-glucoxylan.

In an animal with Parkinson's, oral administration of a low dose of Lion's mane mushroom significantly improved oxidative stress(5)Leveraging lion's mane mushroom Parkinson's benefits for 25 days enhanced lesions in the part of the brain (substantia nigra and striatum) that play a critical role in the modulation of movements.

Using the medicinal mushroom Hericium Erinaceus, traditional Chinese medicine reduced neurodegenerative diseases that often result from inflammation caused by oxidative stress—these diseases range from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's disease and dementia. 

Research utilizing an Alzheimer's disease mouse model has been used to show that the mushroom can fight dopaminergic lesions and promote nerve regeneration. This resulted in better brain health for the animals used in the research, further proving Lion's mane can solve issues related to brain health, including Parkinson's disease.

3. Improves Cognitive Function

People with Parkinson's disease may experience cognitive impairment, with symptoms like slower thinking and poor information processing.  Memory and attention are other affected domains.

When using lion's mane for Parkinson's disease, patients enjoy improved memory, mental sharpness, and cognitive function. The anti-inflammatory benefits of the fungi also help improve blood supply to the brain, leading to improved focus, memory, and mental performance.

In a 2008 study, Hericium Erinaceus enhanced cognition(6) when given in a dose of 250 mg for 16 weeks. After the study period, there were increased scores on the cognitive function scales compared to those who did not receive Lion's mane. 

Read More: See the best Lion's mane dosage for different conditions. 

Lion's mane mushroom may also be helpful in patients with Parkinson's who have depressive symptoms. We already know Hericium Erinaceus stimulates the production of BDNF, a natural antidepressant. While this may not directly benefit patients with Parkinson's, this anti-depressant-like effect of Lion's mane mushroom can be potentially beneficial in controlling the symptoms of the disease.

4. Improves Motor Function

Motor functions are movements carried out by the body to perform specific tasks. The primary manifestations of Parkinson's disease are movement abnormalities, including slowness, involuntary movements, and difficulties in walking and balancing the body.

Lion's mane mushroom improves motor skills in animal models with Parkinson's. Researchers utilized mouse models with Parkinson-like motor disturbance and gave three different dosages of the mushroom. Results suggested that the medicinal fungus could decrease abnormalities in motor functions.

In clinical trials, lion's mane extracts have promoted peripheral nerve regeneration. The mushroom's ability to repair—and encourage the generation—of nerve cells that help move messages from the brain to the spinal cord and the rest of the body shows the mushroom's ability to fix impairment in motor functions for people with Parkison's disease. 

Suppose a Parkinson's disease patient knows how to use Lion's mane and uses it regularly; the mushroom's ability to boost nerve regeneration and improve the cerebral cortex functionality provides improved motor functions in the long run. 

5. Lion's Mane Improves Sleep

Taking Lion's mane before bed promotes a restful night, which, in turn, promotes neurogenesis. 

According to a research study conducted in 2015(7), the lack of sleep impairs hippocampal neurogenesis through the presence of wake-dependent factors. A different research study published online in 2008(8) determined that prolonged restriction or disruption of sleep may have cumulative effects leading to a significant decrease in hippocampal cell proliferation, cell survival, and neurogenesis. 

As noted earlier, Parkinson's disease causes inflammation and loss of nerve cells. Using Lion's mane correctly promotes sleep. This, in turn, boosts the generation of new nerve cells that replace the lost ones. 

The generation of new nerve cells protects against Parkinson's disease. In people with Parkinson's disease, the promotion of sleep slows down the development of the disease by reducing the impairments of the nerve cells. 

Final Thoughts

Lion's mane mushroom can regenerate neurons and preserve them. Parkinson's is a disease where nerve cells degenerate. 

While there are limited clinical studies on Lion's mane Parkinson's benefits, results have suggested that the mushroom may have the potential to help the disease by improving cognition, motor functions, and mental performance.

Have you used Lion's mane mushrooms? What were you trying to treat with the mushroom? What were the results? Let us know in the comments. 

We Would Love To Hear Your Comments Leave A Comment

References

  1. Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom,Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
  2. Neurotrophic isoindolinones from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33246107/
  3. Erinacine A increases catecholamine and nerve growth factor content in the central nervous system of rats,(3) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531705001041
  4. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Parkinson's Disease, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4135313/  
  5. Neurological Activity of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus), (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4135313/ 
  6. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, (6)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.2634
  7. Sleep and adult neurogenesis: implications for cognition and mood,(7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24218292/  
  8. New neurons in the adult brain: The role of sleep and consequences of sleep loss, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2771197/
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