I was wondering if anyone has explored ways to improve mitochondrial function through diet. Dr. Terry Wahls has come out with a diet based on the Paleo diet which she is conducting clinical trials on for reversing multiple sclerosis damage and symptoms. While I realize that the mechanism of MS is completely different in that it is an autoimmune disease, it does share some features of motor neuron damage and death. Dr. Wahls has focused on the fact that in MS, the mitochondria of the cell are damaged by the autoimmune attack until the cell stops working correctly and eventually dies. So the diet focuses on reversing autoimmune dietary triggers (which have complex roots in intestinal permeability and genetic interplay) and also feeding the mitochondria to improve the health of the neuronal cells that are under attack. A lot of research is indicating that a major pathway by which Kennedy's works is progressive loss of mitochondrial function and increases in the proteins that code for cell apoptosis due to the cellular damage caused by the malfunctioning AR proteins. So in theory, adopting a diet that focuses on optimizing mitochondrial function may be of benefit to those affected by KD, in terms of slowing disease progression and possibly reversing symptoms to some degree through improving neuronal function in living motor neuron cells.
My son, who is 3.5, has the Kennedy's gene (I'm a carrier and my father had KD before he passed). He has had some significant unrelated health issues that have caused me to explore diet and functional medicine, but more from a gut health and autoimmune perspective. I only just started reading Dr. Wahls new book to increase my knowledge base when it occurred to me that this could be a potential avenue of focus for my son's future health. We know that severity of Kennedy's can vary wildly within the same family. I wonder just how much nutritional status at the cellular level plays a role in that. Anyways, I just wanted to share this with you all in the hopes that it might be a helpful approach for someone who is currently managing their KD symptoms.
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614