- P1: Meet the team. Why do research on BST? The mission of BST-RG. The focus of BST research. Rights, privileges and obligations of BST-RG members.
- P2: The science behind BST – What you need to know about BST-RG .
- P3: Frequently asked questions
Page 1: Meet the team to discover what we’re doing
Most of us have never met in person, but we know each other pretty well. About 20 of us chat regularly on Sundays, late morning for some, late afternoon for others, sharing our experiences of Parkinson’s disease across different continents. Top left, that’s Frank Mundo from Maine, USA. Frank looks after registration and administrative tasks for the BST-RG. Next to Frank, that’s me, Albert Wright I’m a retired British scientist (chemist/physicist) with Parkinson’s disease and I live in Grenoble, France. I have been researching ways to slow down my own disease progression since 2018 and I began making broccoli seed tea to activate Nrf2 in December 2019.
In fourth place on the top row is Marc who had the great idea to set up these Zoom meetings almost 2 years ago. You will get to meet the other regular Zoomers when you join. We chat about all things related to PD: sleeping; family relations; dealing with doctors; diets; food supplements; exercise. More recently, Frank began organizing a special BST-RG meeting on Tuesdays to prepare for our next program starting in September.
To join the BST-RG, please click on the inscription form button here:
The Broccoli Seed Tea Research Group was established to carry out research on the preparation and use of sulforaphane to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease by activating one of the most important cellular regulators in your body, the transcription factor Nrf2. Sulforaphane is made from a substance found in broccoli seeds.
If you are new to Broccoli Seed Tea, you might be excused for thinking that this broccoli thing is a joke. Indeed, it might be more appealing to you if sulforaphane, this remarkable molecule that might change your life, had been discovered in a rare reptile in the Amazon rain forest. But fortunately for us, sulforaphane can be made from broccoli seeds and that means any can have access to sulforaphane (SFN). However, SFN is practically absent in the green vegetable you put on your plate and there is none in the seeds either. Broccoli seeds are a rich source of a much larger molecule called glucoraphanin (GR). To make sulforaphane we must first extract the glucoraphanin into water. Then we use an enzyme to break GR into several smaller chemical units. Some of these units then react with each other and join together in a different order to make sulforaphane. That’s the theory, but it doesn’t always work out like that.
Broccoli Seed Tea is a great way to make active sulforaphane.
The BST-RG is working to develop and standardize the preparation of broccoli seed tea . This will be used to deliver active sulforaphane to activate Nrf2 and stop the processes that drive the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
To join the BST-RG, please click on the inscription form button here:
The mission of the BST-RG
The aim of the BST-RG is to improve our knowledge of making and using active sulforaphane, to learn more about how sulforaphane can control and hopefully stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease and to enable People with Parkinson’s disease to benefit from this knowledge.
To achieve this objective, we need to address several areas simultaneously:
- To obtain a reliable and sufficient source of high-quality broccoli seeds to enable all experimental work to be done using a standardized source material with a quantified GR content. This objective has already been achieved.
- To define a standardized preparation protocol to reproducibly produce a broccoli seed tea with a relatively constant, known sulforaphane content.
- To enable people with Parkinson’s disease to carry out well-designed self-experimentation on the activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 using a broccoli seed tea prepared to meet the above specifications.
- To share the information generated by this research, in priority with all active BST-RG members equally.
The focus of the BST Research
The BST-RG is currently focused on research related to activating the transcription factor Nrf2 as a means of stopping the processes that drive the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Oxidative stress and damaged mitochondria are involved in a vicious circle that generates increasing amounts of ROS and more severely damaged mitochondria inside the neurons that make dopamine. The high concentration of reactive oxidizing chemicals and the reduced energy production which results, further damages and weakens these neurons and reduces their capacity to produce and express dopamine in more distant parts of the brain. This internal damage to these neurons is the very first step in the development of Parkinson’s disease, but it goes unrecognized for many years because the symptoms it creates (fatigue and other non-motor symptoms), can all be attributed to conditions due to age rather than to Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter which plays a major role in practicaly all brain functions. Any shortage in more distant brain regions therefore reduces the capacity of these brain regions. The brain adapts to this situation by making new connections reduce the workload of the affected regions. This solution is imperfect and as it progresses it leads to the development of motor symptoms. At the point of diagnosis, both of these conditions (local and regional) are present and are progressing simultaneously.
The BST-RG is focused on stopping the processes that damage and destroy dopamine-producing neurons.
We believe that if we can target the causes of this damage to dopamine-producing neurons, we may be able to achieve several things:
- reduce and eventually eliminate the chronic state of stress and fatigue of dopaminergic neurons and attenuate the symptoms caused by this chronic state,
- improve the energy-producing capacity of these neurons by renewing damaged mitochondria,
- improve the redistribution of dopamine to those parts of the brain that are suffering dopamine shortage,
- enable dopamine neurons to repair damage by regrowing the axon arborescence,
- prevent further damage to the more distant brain areas.
The first 3 of these changes involve molecular or internal cellular operations, such as neutralizing oxidative stress (with a timescale of hours) and improving mitochondrial function (with a timescale of days). With effective therapy, these changes could therefore be accomplished over quite short periods and the impact observable through improvements in non-motor symptoms over the same timescales.
The fourth objective will require cellular repair and regrowth of axons and synapses. These processes may be only partially achievable will take much longer to complete than the timescale of the proposed experiments.
The fifth may have a purely preventative role, with no observable effects over the timescale of our experimentation.
Practical issues relating to BST
To study the activation of the transcription factor Nrf2, the group aims to develop and test a standardized Broccoli seed Tea containing sulforaphane. This program will be based on results of experiments carried out since January 2020 as well as on published research into the effects of Nrf2 activation by leading scientists.
This will be supported by research to better understand the processes involved in making sulforaphane from glucoraphanin. This is a complex process that we do not yet fully understand. We will establish a program to analyse its chemistry and reaction kinetics in order to understand the processes better and to develop a standardized protocol for reliably making broccoli seed tea with a known quantity of active sulforaphane. Members of the BST-RG, will be invited to contribute to this research and will benefit from the latest information on how to make BST reliably as soon as it becomes available.
rights and privileges of BST-RG members
The BST-RG aims to offer its members several privileges in the form of new information or analysis not available to the general public. The nature of this information is given below and will be made available to group members as soon as possible following its creation or release.
- General information on Parkinson’s disease from some of the world’s leading scientists, reviewed and written in plain language by Dr Albert Wright, a research scientist with Parkinson’s disease, or by other scientists where possible.
- Specific information on how sulforaphane interacts with the Nrf2 transcription factor to fight the processes driving Parkinson’s disease progression, especially oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
- Confidential access to reports of collective self-experimentation by BST-RG members to determine how sulforaphane affects Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
- Confidential access to reports of laboratory testing to determine the suitability of commercially available broccoli seeds to make BST.
- Confidential laboratory reports on experimental results designed to establish the protocols to reliably make broccoli seed tea.
- Confidential reports on sourcing broccoli seeds for members’ personal use beyond the planned experimental program of the Group.
- For those taking part in self-experimentation, free access for the duration of the experimental program to special, characterised broccoli seeds with a high concentration of glucoraphanin, the precursor of sulforaphane.
Some of this information is already available on this website. New information will be added at the earliest possible time following its release.
Obligations of BST-RG members
As with any collective organisation, members have rights but also obligations.
- BST-RG members must not divulge confidential information to non-members,
- BST-RG members wishing to take part in self-experimentation must take the time and effort to become well informed of the science behind the experimental program as explained on page 2 of this section.
- BST-RG members will be asked to contribute to the future running costs of the group when the decision is made to establish a legal body (non-profit society).
- Members will be invited to discuss and submit proposals for the nature and amount of subscriptions, other fees or sources of funding in accordance with the estimated running costs.
- It is important to note that the project will only be successful if all of its components are fully funded and executed.
- Members will be invited to participate in the selection of the management team for the proposed legal body.
- The rights and obligations of members and the legal body will be defined in the statutes of the proposed legal body.