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Dietary modifications have been shown to provide neuroprotective effects and may hold promise for patients with MSA. There have been connections between dietary patterns and risk of Parkinson’s disease, but no large studies have been conducted in relation to MSA. A neuroprotective diet is recommended by some physicians, including calorie restriction, which may increase an amino acid, glutamate, which is connected to motor control. Calorie-restricted diets have shown promise in Parkinson’s disease, and may hold hope for MSA patients, as well.

Diets rich in foods that fight inflammation may also have a role in MSA treatment. Curcumin, the main component of turmeric spice with proven anti-inflammatory effects, has been found to improve symptoms in mice with similar molecular changes as seen in MSA, but has yet to been proven in humans. Other anti-inflammatory dietary patterns, including diets high in fruits and vegetables, have been tied to regression in many diseases. A Mediterranean diet has been connected to a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease, and may also confer protective effects in MSA. Recently, an association between decreased coenzyme Q10 and the severity of motor symptoms in MSA has been found. This may provide further support of a diet rich in antioxidants may prevent or slow the progression of this disease.


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  2. Alcalay, R.N., Gu, Y., Mejia‐Santana, H., Cote, L., Marder, K.S. and Scarmeas, N. (2012), The association between Mediterranean diet adherence and Parkinson’s disease. Mov. Disord., 27: 771-774.
  3. Maswood N, Young J, Tilmont E, et al. Caloric restriction increases neurotrophic factor levels and attenuates neurochemical and behavioral deficits in a primate model of Parkinson’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101(52):18171–18176.
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  5. Molsberry, Samantha. 2019. Diet, Metabolomics, and Parkinson’s Disease. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.