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From the research of the Belgian neuroscientist, Patrik Verstreken, it appears that through giving Parkinson's patients vitamin K2, their condition could improve. Patrik agrees that more research needs to be performed to gain more evidence of this fact. He published his findings in the Science journal online.
Vertraken compares what happens in the Parkinson patients to factory operations for a visual. "If we looked at cells as small factories, then mitochondria would be the power plants responsible for supplying the energy for their operation." He goes on to say the if the function of the movement of the electrons or functioning of the mitochondria is interrupted than the mitochondria will not be able to produce enough power for the cells. This could cause major problems as cells could die off in the brain interrupting the neurons communication with one another. This brings on common symptoms for Parkinson's such as muscle stiffness, tremors and akinesia (lack of movement).
It is not known what Parkinson's is caused by, researchers have identified a number of genetic defects occurring in Parkinson's sufferers though, such as Parking and PINK1 mutations, both of which can hamper the activity of the mitochondria according to the researcher.
Patrik and his colleagues did their research on fruit flies with either the Parking or PINK1 genetic defect that resembles the one linked to Parkinson's they discovered that the fruit flies with the Parking or PINK1 mutation became unable to fly.
Through examining the flies it was found that, the flies' mitochondria were defective exactly like that of Parkinson's sufferers. This caused less energy to be produced for the cells. After the fruit flies received vitamin K2 it was found that the mitochondria began producing enough energy once again and the flies could again fly. It was decided that this was because the mitochondria function was improved as far as transporting electrons, due to the vitamin K2.
The researcher has concluded that with Parkinson's patients having the same type of defect in the mitochondria because of the Parking or PINK1 mutations, that vitamin K2 could be a promising treatment for them.