Category Archives: Parkinsons treatments

How Much Trial Time for a Therapy?

I decide to pursue a particular therapy. What I would like to know is how much trial time should I devote before moving to another method if this one does not work for me?

Click  on the purple arrow below to hear my thoughts in response to the question above which was raised during the Sunday Connections Program sponsored by Parkinsons Recovery.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D
Road to Recovery
www.parkinsonsdisease.me


how long to stick with a therapy

 

Best Therapies to Become Symptom Free of Parkinson’s

I have been a subscriber for awhile now and have tried some of the treatments (qigong, dental appliance). Although I’m still not symptom-free I remain hopeful I’ll find something that eventually works for me.

Have you ever polled or collated responses from subscribers to see if, and which of, these methods have also helped them to become symptom-free? Thanks for all you do and for your uplifting spirit!

Mary

Response:

The reference to “subscriber” in Mary’s question above is to the Parkinsons Recovery Membership Program. The program involves an interface with a website that is updated daily with wide variety of information, support and resources that support ongoing recovery. I record meditations every week that are posted, the most recent of which involve mindfulness invitations.

I have had four thoughts after reading your question. I will reflect on each one rather than censoring or editing them!

First, I discovered something fascinating since I began researching how people succeed in reversing their symptoms. Few people actually realize they are feeling better and better. The recovery process is slow and difficult to track. The focus tends to reside on symptoms that are in your face, so few people actually acknowledge and celebrate the progress they are making toward recovery as evidenced by symptoms that do reverse.

I have discovered this observation applies to everyone. If you ask me how I am feeling now when compared to six months ago – my response would be – I do not know. I really do not have have the memory capability to know one way or another. Am I feeling better, the same or worse? I do not have a clue.

When you say “although I am not symptom free” I am wondering if you have actually been successful with your recovery process and just have not acknowledged it.  Parkinsons Recovery supports a symptom tracker that you might want to update regularly so you can chart and celebrate your own progress toward recovery.

Second, I have an invitation for you. Ask five persons you know who do not have a diagnosis of  Parkinsons the following question:

Are you symptom free today?

Ask a family member, a friend, a stranger – whomever you happen to encounter today.
Of course, I can not know the results of your informal survey, but I predict that 4 out of 5 or even 5 out of 5 persons (who do not have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s) will report a symptom of one type or another that is worrisome to them – perhaps fatigue or depression or high blood pressure or mood swings or a back ache or …  We all occupy a body which presents challenges throughout our lives.

I would recommend that instead of focusing on symptoms – which triggers a series of low frequency thought forms – focus on what you love to do in your life. Make doing what you love to do happen as frequently as possible.

Third, as for polling my audience – the answer is no. There is a reason. I have discovered in my research that the factors which cause neurological difficulties are truly multifaceted. The therapies that will help you are keyed to the causal factors that happen to be at play for you and you alone.

When I examine the research on the various therapeutic options that are available to people – and there are dozens – the research shows that each and every option results in a positive outcome on average to one extent or another. Some options are much more helpful than others for any individual. The key is to find what options are the most beneficial for you and your body.

No single therapeutic option exists that is the end all – the option that everyone should pursue. People who are recovering pursue multiple options – as are you. Hooray! That approach – pursing a combination of therapeutic options – works well for most people on the road to recovery.

Fourth, having said all of this – I have concluded that the best answers are actually quite simple in the long run. The best road to travel for recovery is one that involves

Eating nutritious, organic, live foods,
Avoiding foods that are bad for your body,
Moving your body every day through exercise,
Becoming well hydrated,
Breathing deeply so you oxygenate your body.

Everyone knows these principles of good health are valid. The key is to begin doing it on a daily basis.

I have been recruiting Parkinsons Recovery Radio show guests who offer their unique perspectives on how to help our bodies come back on line. I love this approach because it focuses on the positive (how to become healthy and thus help your body remove the toxins naturally) rather than on the negative (how to eliminate symptoms as you ponder what is not working well in your body). You will enjoy John Baumann’s refreshing perspective who is my guest on the radio show tomorrow.

When we focus on how our body really does not how to come back into balance (which is its natural state) the positive approach and associated thoughts support our recovery. When we focus on what is not working – our negative thoughts about what is wrong impede recovery.

Keep tuning in to hear my interviews with the Parkinsons Recovery Radio Show guests.
Admittedly it takes an hour or so to hear each show, but you will be hearing some remarkable suggestions from truly gifted individuals over the coming months.

I am guessing you have been making superb progress in your recovery program. May you celebrate each and every victory as you continue to manifest all of your dreams for the future.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
http://www.parkinsonsdisease.me

How Can Toxins or Stress Be Removed?

Question:

How can toxins or stress be removed if it’s trapped at a cell level?

Gino

Response:

This is certainly an important question. There area wide variety of detox methods that remove toxins and a wide selection of approaches that assist the body with releasing trauma.No gold standard exists for either because everyone’s body is different.

Many people discover that one therapy will work for a while. Then, they have to switch off to another in order to continue the recovery process. Different methods are successful at different points in the recovery process.

One of the reasons I air the radio show every week is to offer a wide variety of choices you can consider. Whether my guest is a health care practitioner or a person who currently experiences the symptoms of Parkinson’s, they usually tap into their approach for detoxing and de-stressing. People with the symptoms of Parkinson’s talk about what therapies are working for them. It doesn’t mean it will work for you – but it is a starting place.

I am guessing you were hoping for a much more simplistic answer -perhaps a few websites to visit. There are hundreds of resources out there for you to pick and choose from.

The most important step is to begin taking action now. Initiate your own exploration. Call or e mail some of my radio show guests. Get more information.  See what calls out to you.

You really can’t go wrong. Most of the therapies people find are the most helpful are safe, non-intrusive and effective. The only side effect is improved health on some level.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Books
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery

Resources
Vibration Therapy
Dehydration Therapy: Aquas
Parkinsons Recovery Membership
Parkinsons Recovery Chat Room
Eye Drops for Cataracts
Symptom Tracker
Parkinson’s Disease News


Angela’s Story

Angela is my guest on the radio show this week. As you can ascertain from her story below, she has had a fascinating journey on the road to recovery.

Angela will be available to answers questions from listeners on Thursday from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm pacific time.  Call the following toll free number to talk with her:1 (877) 590-0733 or visit the Parkinsons Recovery radio page here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parkinsons-recovery

Angela’s History

Work as a freelance professional engineer in the pulp and paper industry. Based near Vancouver BC but work mainly overseas, particularly in Chile and in New Zealand.

In 2009, I won the Beloit Prize, the highest honour for engineering in the pulp and paper industry.

Have had previous training as a therapist in Hakomi body centered psychotherapy.

Was a trainer in “Living Love” method as described by Ken Keyes Junior in his book “The Power of Unconditional Love” and others. Ken taught that true happiness is uncaused, that no one or nothing is ever made us upset are unhappy. This is really good news since I realized I could change myself whereas it is impossible to change anyone else.

Living Love has really helped me with my PD. I don’t have to demand that I not have it, with all the attendant negative emotions. I can prefer to be PD free and work to that goal without negativity.

For many years, was an adept meditator. Spent much of my spare time on the spiritual journey visiting spiritual communities around the world.

My hobby and passion is fine wine. I am a past president of the American Wine Society. I know that many people with PD have lost their ability to smell but I still have mine. The result of long, intense training?

My outlook on life is decidedly optimistic. I am a “reverse paranoid” as I believe that everyone is out there to make me happy!

2006

First symptoms 2006 at age 59: cramped handwriting and frozen right shoulder.

Over the years my handwriting has remained cramped but my right shoulder has thawed. The tremor in my right hand has increased from virtually nothing in 2006 to intermittently bothersome in 2010.

Saw a neurologist in December 2006. Possible Parkinson’s. I rejected this out of hand as it was obvious that I have a “pinched nerve”.

Part of me still wants to believe the pinched nerve theory.

2007

Went for a second opinion. Saw another neurologist in May 2007. Diagnosis: idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. This was a terrible moment in my life as the urologist was almost gleeful when he told me what I had, as if he had solved some great mystery. I felt like I had been shot with a cannon.

On the recommendation of my neurologist, I started on Mirapex, a dopamine agonist. Dreadful side effects: somnolence, insomnia, nausea. Just about everything except compulsive gambling. I stopped taking Mirapex after four weeks and vowed to never again take a Parkinson’s medication.

It is as if the Mirapex put a “hole” in my brain. It took over three years for this to be repaired. I would classify Mirapex is a neurotoxin.

Desired third opinion. Had a PET scan at the Inglewood imaging center in LA. Supported diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Finally accepted that I had PD and decided to defy rather than deny it.

Having read that exercise is the “best medicine” for PD decided to get serious about it. Started running. Started going to the gym. Hired a personal trainer. Within four months I had lost nearly 50 pounds and became a lean, not-so-mean, fighting machine.

I exercise regimen at the gym typically consists of 30 min. of cardio (upright bike), 30 min. on the weights, and 30 min. of stretching.

My personal trainer concentrates on keeping all of my muscle groups functional. She also includes many balance exercises. Balance on my right leg is not as good as on my left but at least I still have it.

I regained use of right shoulder by numerous injections of prolotherapy, although my right arm remained significantly impaired.

Prolotherapy is merely the injection of dextrose into the tendons. This irritates the tendon and stimulates blood flow to the area. It really hurts! But after two months I could raise my arm that was formerly just hanging at my side.

I was introduced to kickboxing by my personal trainer. Found that I enjoyed it very much.

They usually have 2×30 min. sessions of kickboxing a week. Kickboxing also feels good and I believe it is the cyclic vibrations from alternating job-crosses, right hooks-left hooks, right kicks-left kicks, that keep my movements stabilized. I particularly like hitting a dummy that I have named “Mr. Parkinson”.

On the recommendation of a friend, I started playing tennis again (I had to stop due to my frozen shoulder) using my left arm instead of my right. Soon after, however, I regained the use of my right arm. Now, I have two forehands and a left-handed serve.

I now visit Florida for two months each year where I engage a tennis coach every other day to put me through my paces. When I am on the court, I can run like the wind, and have no problems moving sideways or forwards or backwards or running. As soon as I leave the court, my PD symptoms return. I wish I could play tennis 24/7.

2008

Saw Jon Stossel, Canada’s top PD researcher at the University of British Columbia. With him, I feel that I am being provided with the best service available from standard Western medicine.

I see Jon Stossel once a year.

Became a patient of ND Caleb Ng of Mountainview Wellness Center in Surrey BC. Introduced to protocol of Dr. David Perlmutter, the “renegade neurologist”. Embraced Perlmutter’s protocol of supplements for neuroprotection of Parkinson’s patients. This included co-enzyme Q10, omega-3, B-complex, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, phosphatidylserine, and others.

I have been taking intravenous glutathione once or twice-weekly. I began with 1400 mg but am now taking 2500 mg each time. Quite frankly, I have never noticed any of the miraculous improvements shown in Perlmutter’s videos.

Caleb also started me on chelation therapy as urinalysis revealed high contents of lead and mercury. I had about a dozen sessions but then have stopped. I understand that dozens of sessions are necessary for any improvement to be realized.

2009

While visiting my Hakomi teacher in Ashland, Oregon, I found out about the Center for Natural Healing in Ashland where herbalist Donnie Yance had a botanical protocol for PD. In late July, 2009, I commenced his protocol for botanicals and supplements. Botanicals included Mucuna pruriens, Withania somnifera, turmeric, and others. Additional supplements included vitamin D3, zinc, selenium, and others.

After one year on the Donnie Yance botanical protocol, I decided to stop taking Mucuna and NADH as neither of these appear to offer any therapeutic benefit whatsoever.

I am about to start using henbane, a botanical anticholinergic, in an attempt to reduce the tremors. The grand experiment is yet to begin however.

In June, 2009, I became a member of PatientsLikeMe.com (patient name: Dawn Angel). I also joined 23andMe.com where I learned that I did not have the LRRK gene for Parkinson’s.

In September, 2009, I visited John Coleman in Australia. The recommended that I go on a strict diet: gluten-free, dairy-free, coffee-free, sugar-free, peanut-free, cashew-free, and so on. He also recommended that a begin taking the Aquas. For therapy, he recommended Bowen.

I have recently stopped taking the Aquas as I have never noticed any benefit from it.

I had several sessions of Bowen therapy. Very relaxing. Not as effective as IMS (see below).

While working in New Zealand, I found a very good osteopath who was able to effect incredible improvement in my tremors.

Osteopathy is mostly hands-free bodywork. I have no idea how or why it works, but it does.

In December, 2009, I attended Robert Rodger’s “Jump Start to Wellness” in Olympia Washington. This is where I first learned that there were other people interested in getting well.

2010

A check of my free cortisol rhythm revealed that my cortisol levels were very low throughout the day. This is characteristic of “adrenal fatigue”. The only problem was, I remained high-energy and was not fatigued in the least, however, I began taking the supplement called “Adrenal Support”.

In January and February of 2010 I had a 10-session course of Hellerwork, a form of myofascial release. Very good.

Hellerwork is closely related to Rolfing. Over the 10 sessions my practitioner literally massaged all the fascia of my body. It felt great to have stiffened muscles worked upon. I return for an occasional tune-up.

I found a practitioner of intramuscular stimulation (IMS), who has been able to read awaken muscles that had become shortened due to disuse. This has been the most effective therapy of all for me.

IMS involves needling as in acupuncture but the needles are applied to the tendons instead of to fictional meridians. The benefits of IMS are immediate and last for at least several days. I see my physiotherapist weekly.

Despite improvements in my mobility and strength, the tremors in my right hand had become noticeably worse, especially when I visit either an M.D. or a neurologist. The tremors would go away as soon as they left their offices. This is clearly a manifestation of “white coat syndrome”.

I revisited John Coleman in May, 2010. He commented that tremors were the last symptom to go away for him.

After hearing about the possible benefits of neurofeedback for PD, I had a EEG done and found that my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was not producing theta waves. I have since had six sessions of neurofeedback and have noticed improvement.

In a session, an electrode is applied to my scalp in the location of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. I listened to soothing sounds through headphones. When that part of my brain is active I hear the sounds. When it is in active, I hear only static. The reward is the sound and the brain actively creates the ability to hear the sound without intervention on my part.

I purchased a small unit for cranial electrostimulation (CES). This applies a very small current through my head by means of electrodes clamped to my earlobes. I find it very relaxing; indeed, it is a form of meditation. Since my diagnosis with PD, meditation has not come easy to me.

In October, 2010, I visited France where I completely abandoned my dietary protocol and gorged myself on foie gras, croissant’s, baguettes, rich cheeses, exotic desserts, café au lait, and other forbidden foods. After one week I felt better than I have in three years. Go figure, who would’ve thought there was such a thing as the “French Cure”! Vive la hedonism!

Angela

I Want to be Proactive Rather than Reactive

Question:


I have been faithfully reading your daily mails and find them quite comforting.  Here’s my problem.

I won’t be seeing a neurologist until November 15th.    My family doctor’s suspicion of Parkinson’s Disease is based on the fact that my hand tremors are ‘resting’ tremors.

Whenever I have the courage to check for more information online, I find information which makes me think it could possibly be caused by something else, i.e. genes (my dad had a bit of a tremor in his hand), low blood sugar (although I am not diabetic.  The tremors seem to get better when I drink a pop, not diet.) … you get my meaning, I’m sure.

I also am very much aware of the fact that the tremors get a lot worse when I try to suppress them.  If I sit on my hand, they seem to move into my shoulder.  They also almost go away completely when I am totally relaxed (they come back at the slightest sign of stress).

I would like to do something to help myself while I wait for my appointment.  I would like to be proactive rather than reactive.  Is there something you can recommend?  I know there are many good suggestions on your web page, but it’s information overload for me still.

Any suggestion will be much appreciated.

Lis

Response:

I feel the information overload too. There are so many opportunities out there – which ones do you pursue? It gets really overwhelming. That really is why I began doing the Jump Start to Wellness programs – to help people shift through the maze of options to find therapies that are right for them and their bodies.

Let me offer a few suggestions you might want to talk with your doctor about.

Stop eating dairy products.

Exercise every day. Exercise addresses the stress.

Use body therapies that release the stress like cranio-sacral therapy, Bowen therapy, Tin Tui Na, vibroacoustic therapy, etc.  As you well know, when you can release the stress that is trapped in your tissues, your symptoms will not flare when you are under stress in the moment.

Toxins are a big factor. I have no idea what you have tried – but zeolite is a great detox. There are several companies who offer zerolite detoxes. I interviewed Robert Bonham,  Ph.D.  several months ago. You might want to listen to that radio show interview. Detoxing with zeolite has the potential to offer significant relief.

I am hot on the trail of a supplement that I have been taking which has given me incredible energy. It offers the body a way of making glutathione naturally. I will talk about it on my radio show this next week. It is called Can-C Plus -and has been used in conjunction which eye drops that reverse cataracts. Looks to me like it is a great anti-aging supplement and I am guessing it may provide great relief from neurological challenges. I think this supplement may provide many people with Parkinson’s relief from their symptoms. It is all speculation – but I am excited nonetheless.

Finally – are you adequately hydrated? If your body is not getting enough water – symptoms will be worse. John Coleman recommends aquas (www.aquas.us). Whatever approach you use, be sure that your body is adequently hydrated every day.

I would not worry over a diagnosis. It is just a guess anyway. Your body has the power to heal itself when given the support and nourishment it needs to heal.

Give you body the support it needs to come back into balance and you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Resources
Dehydration Therapy: Aquas
Parkinsons Recovery Membership
Parkinsons Eye Problems
Vibroacoustic Therapy
Jump Start to Wellness
Parkinsons Recovery Chat Room
Symptom Tracker
Parkinsons Recovery Radio Network

Books
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease
Pioneers of Recovery
Five Steps to Recovery
Meditations for Parkinsons

Parkinson’s Disease: An Integrative Individualized Approach

What follows is an article written specifically on Parkinson’s that was written by Dr. Daniel Newman, M.D., N.D., M.S.O.M. and presented to a Parkinson’s support group in Portland, Oregon in October, 2009. For those who are attentive to initials that appear after people’s names, you may have already observed that Daniel Newman is a medical doctor, a naturopath doctor and an expert in Chinese medicine. What a powerful combination that is!

I will air an interview with Dr. Newman next month on my weekly radio program. He has a wealth of experience working with persons who have the symptoms of Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. Dr. Newman reports evidence of recovery during the interview. He has a clinic in Vancouver, Washington where he sees Parkinson’s patients in addition to individuals with other chronic conditions.

This is an insightful and exciting article. I encourage everyone with the symptoms of Parkinson’s to take the time to read it through to the end.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

It is estimated that Parkinson’s Disease affects 1.5 million people in the United States, and about 1% of all Americans over age 60. While a small percentage of Parkinson’s Disease can be considered hereditary, in the vast majority of cases, the cause is deemed ‘idiopathic,’ or unknown. Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence that environmental toxins play a role in the destruction of the substantia nigra, the nest of dopamine producing neurons in the midbrain whose loss is the defining anatomical feature in Parkinson’s Disease.

Toxins implicated in the development of Parkinson’s Disease include: recreational drugs (such as cocaine and amphetamines); pharmaceutical drugs (e.g., phenothiazines and metoclopramide); pesticides (such as β-hexachlorocyclohexane or B-HCH and rotenone); solvents (e.g., toluene, hexane, and trichloroethylene or TCE); and metals (such as mercury, lead, copper, and manganese).

Parkinson’s Disease can present as a spectrum of symptoms, from mild to severe. Aside from the characteristic tremor, patients with Parkinson’s Disease may manifest problems with: movement (slow arm swing, small handwriting, accelerating small steps when walking, rigidity, freezing, and decreased facial expression); balance (instability and the tendency to fall backwards); speech (slurred or muffled); diminished reflexes (including blinking and swallowing); sleep disturbance; mood disorders (anxiety or depression); difficulty thinking (cognitive dysfunction or dementia); constipation; and skin problems (either dry or oily).

Because of this broad spectrum of symptom type and severity, the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease patients must be individualized. The treatment program for a patient with simply a mild hand tremor should not be the same as for a patient with long-term, severe, incapacitating symptoms.

Treatment should accomplish three goals:

  • 1. Symptom management – control of symptoms that have already manifested.
  • 2. Neuro-protection – slow or prevent the further loss of dopaminergic neurons by providing the body with compounds that facilitate protection of nerve cells.
  • 3. Detoxification – lower the burden of toxic chemicals in the body to prevent further destruction of dopaminergic neurons.

An Integrative Approach to Treatment

My approach to the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease combines conventional treatment, naturopathic medicine, and Chinese medicine. I believe that each of these approaches has something unique to offer. Conventional treatment, in particular pharmaceuticals, can be helpful in managing the symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s Disease. However, conventional medicine has little to offer in the realms of neuro-protection or detoxification.

Naturopathic medicine has a breadth of modalities that can be useful in addressing neuro-protection and detoxification, and can be helpful in symptom management, but may not be able to blunt the symptoms of late stage disease without pharmaceutical support.

Chinese medicine utilizes a different paradigm than Western medicine (either allopathic or naturopoathic), looking at the body energetically. It may therefore be helpful in all 3 arenas of treatment, particularly when two of the primary treatment modalities, acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas, are combined.

Symptom Management

Management of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms may involve the use of pharmaceuticals, particularly in the later stages of illness. Drugs used for Parkinson’s Disease include those that: boost the amount of dopamine in the brain by offering dopamine precursors (such as Sinemet, Apokyn, and Stalevo); act like dopamine in the brain (e.g., Mirapex, Requip, Permax, and Parlodel); block dopamine’s competing neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (e.g., Artane, Cogentin, Akineton, and Benadryl); and prevent dopamine from being broken down as quickly (Comtan, Tasmar, Eldepryl, and Azilect).

While these medications can be useful in some circumstances, they are not without side effects, sometimes serious ones. Also, they may become less effective over time requiring ‘drug holidays.’ And, there is some suggestion that by overly exciting the remaining dopamine producing neurons in the brain, they may actually accelerate the progression of disease.

In some cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be helpful in lessening the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease where medications fail. However, this is an expensive neurosurgical procedure that carries its own attendant risks. It is not a cure, and though it may reduce motor symptoms by up to 60%, worsening of other symptoms, like cognitive dysfunction, is not uncommon.

Exercise, such as balance work, Tai Ji, and Qi Gong, has been shown in recent studies to be helpful in mitigating the balance issues in Parkinson’s Disease, and should be a part of any treatment program. Other types of exercise to promote general fitness, such as stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercise, can be useful in promoting general health and well being, thereby improving symptoms as well.

Dietary changes and appropriate personalized supplements may be helpful in addressing issues with skin condition, bowel function, sleep disturbance, and mood. A whole foods, organic, anti-inflammatory diet is a basic foundation. Diet should be further individualized based upon food sensitivities and digestive tract issues.

Chinese herbs and acupuncture may also be helpful with symptom management. Two systems of acupuncture, auriculotherapy (the use of needles retained in the ear) and scalp acupuncture (the use of needles retained in the scalp) are particularly useful in treating neurologic conditions like Parkinson’s Disease. Chinese herbs are best administered in synergistic combinations, specifically formulated for each individual based upon their Chinese energetic diagnosis.

Psycho-emotional health is very important in controlling symptoms. Individual counseling, support groups, meditation, and social networks can all be useful in supporting the spirit of the afflicted individual.

Neuro-protection

Protecting neurons against further damage is an essential part of preventing progression of disease in Parkinson’s Disease. While some nutritional supplements have been studied and show promise in this regard (Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E, for example), there are many others for whom more indirect evidence of antioxidant / neuro-protective effects exists. These include: R-lipoic acid, Carnitine, Acetyl-carnitine, Uridine, Alpha-glycerophosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC), Vitamin C, N-acetyl cysteine, Fish oils, Lithium orotate, Zinc, Vitamins B1, B5, B6, B12, Folic acid, and Phosphatidyl serine.

There are also a number of herbs that have shown promise in protecting neurons against damage, and / or improving dopaminergic activity in the brain. These include: Gingko biloba, Mucuna pruriens, Vinpocetine, Withania somniferens (Ashwaganda), Bacopa  monniera; Rosemary; and several Chinese herbs (Dan Shen, Ye Jiao Teng, Bai Zi Ren, Huang Qi and Suan Zao Ren, to name a few).

Not all supplements or herbs should be used in all Parkinson’s Disease patients, nor should they be used in the same amounts. The extent of progression of disease, size and age of the individual, use of concurrent medications, and additional medical problems must all be considered in personalizing a safe and effective regimen.

Exercise, as mentioned above, particularly cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, can increase cerebral blood flow by promoting healthy vasculature, thereby exerting a neuro-protective effect as well.

Detoxification

We live in a toxic world. Unprecedented pollution of our land, water, and air, due to decades of emissions, has reached the far corners of the globe. Radioactive plutonium can be found in remote areas of the arctic. Lead from gasoline banned in the United States 30 years ago can still be found in the atmosphere. Residues of pesticides banned over 40 years ago, such as DDT, can still be detected in our food supply.

Low levels of long-term toxin exposure tend to have an insidious effect on health over many years. Most toxicology studies look at the effects of acute poisoning, that is, a large dose given over a short period of time. Such studies form the primary basis for government recommendations of safe contact levels. However, we are all exposed to low levels of a multitude of toxins over a long period of time. Data on the effects of this real life exposure pattern is scant. However, experiments have demonstrated that even a single contact to legally acceptable levels of tainted air can have a lethal effect on laboratory animals.

Until the point when the sum of cellular damage from toxicity exceeds your body’s ability to compensate, you may feel perfectly well. The moment your body can no longer compensate for the amount of cellular damage you have accumulated, you get sick. It may seem like disease came on suddenly, when in fact you could not sense the accumulation of cellular toxicity until it reached a critical threshold.

The total amount of toxicity we have accumulated during our life-times is referred to as our ‘toxic load.’ This is not a single number, like a blood pressure, for there is no way to calculate the total of all the poisons and damage from toxicity we have experienced in our lifetime. Rather, we can get a general idea based upon our past history of exposure to certain toxins. We can also perform tests to detect certain toxins that we may suspect, or that are highly toxic or ubiquitous, such as heavy metals. We can also test for toxicity indirectly, by looking at chemical end products of oxidation (rusting), or levels of antioxidant protection.

Some people clearly have high toxic loads based upon their history. I have had patients, including those with Parkinson’s Disease, who acted as flaggers for crop dusting planes, dipped their hands in poisonous solvents to clean mechanical parts, chewed on lead rope, or as children, ran behind trucks spraying DDT or played with balls of mercury. Other patients I have attended to may not have had such clear contact, but upon testing had extremely high levels of environmental toxins from unknown exposures.

The first principle of detoxification is not to get toxic in the first place. This means avoiding toxins wherever possible. It is not feasible to avoid toxicity altogether, as there is nowhere on earth that is truly a pristine environment anymore. Nevertheless, there are many specific ways to limit toxic exposure.

The most critical step in toxicity avoidance, however, is to be conscious about it. Educate yourself about what is toxic, what alternatives there are or what protective steps you can take. And, keep toxicity exposure in mind when you decide where to live, what to eat or drink, or what products to use.

Apart from toxicity avoidance, which is preferred and of paramount importance, the second most important principle is to learn how to work with your body to improve your ability to detoxify. In order to do this, it is helpful to know something about the detoxification process.

Detoxification occurs both at the level of the cells and the body as a whole. At the level of the cells, detoxification involves several factors. First, wherever possible, the toxic substance must be removed from the cell and/or neutralized. Anti-oxidants help neutralize chemically reactive toxic substances called ‘free-radicals.’ There are proteins called metallothioneins, which help neutralize and removed toxic heavy metals, such as mercury.

The cell membrane, which is the bag that surrounds our cells, is a complex border where decisions (in effect) are made about what gets in and out of the cell. It is mostly made of fat, and having the right balance of lipids in the cell membrane can effect the removal of toxins from the cell.

With regard to the body as a whole, enhanced circulation such as with exercise can improve blood flow to the cells, facilitating the removal of cellular toxins. Since much of the body’s toxic load is stored in the fat, breaking down fat with proper diet and exercise can also boost detoxification.

Once toxins have been mobilized from cells into the circulation, they must exit the body. They may exit via the urine (kidneys), stool (colon), sweat (skin), or breath (lungs). Elimination may be improved through these organs by various means. However, arguably the most important organ of detoxification is not an organ of direct elimination, but rather the liver.

The liver may be likened here to the sewage processing plant of the body. Chemical toxins (raw sewage) must be metabolized (processed) in order to be safely eliminated (dumped) by the body. Most petrochemical toxins, such as herbicides, pesticides, solvents, cleaning compounds, plastics, and cosmetics are primarily lipid soluble. Lipid solubility means that they dissolve more easily in fat than they do in water. To facilitate their elimination, the liver converts them into compounds that are more soluble in water. The liver also attempts to mitigate their toxicity by converting them into compounds that are less toxic than the original compound. By converting poisons in this way, they can more easily be eliminated, and, while in circulation, are likely to be less toxic.

Effective detoxification is an ongoing process of avoiding toxins wherever possible, and eliminating those that have accumulated in the body. Elimination involves the mobilization and removal of toxins that have built up in the body. This is most effectively accomplished by a well orchestrated program of facilitating toxin mobilization from the tissues, supporting their removal by the organs of detoxification, and optimizing the function of the body as a whole.

Detoxification is not necessarily an entirely benign process. If toxins are mobilized faster than they can be eliminated from the body, or if the body is not properly supported during detoxification, then people can feel more ill than they did before the process was started.

This may occur due to a phenomenon known as ‘re-distribution,’ in which a toxic molecule residing in a harmless location (let’s say, the fat in your buttock) is mobilized into circulation, but before it can be eliminated from the body it ends up re-depositing in a not so benign location, like the brain.

Thus, while some aspects of detoxification are safe for individuals to self-administer, others are best guided by well-trained physicians. Even in the best of hands, depending upon one’s initial state of health, constitution, and toxic load, it is not uncommon for people to feel initially worse before they get better.

A successful detoxification program is therefore a bit like conducting an orchestra or making a soup: you need the right components or ingredients, in the right amounts, introduced at the right time. Sometimes, small well-placed adjustments can mean the difference between a serenade and cacophony, or delectable versus inedible.

Successful detoxification requires a degree of vigilance for toxicity avoidance: eating clean food, drinking clean water, and generally avoiding chemicals in one’s environment. The remainder of the detoxification process, which should be supervised by a physician skilled in this process, would include diagnostic testing to assess hormone balance, nutritional deficiencies, signs of inflammation, and other disease states. Following this, appropriate supplements and procedures to facilitate toxin elimination would be prescribed.

Conclusion

In summary, an integrative individualized treatment program for Parkinson’s Disease takes into consideration the stage of disease progression, and overall health and age of the patient. There are three main areas of focus: symptom management; neuro-protection; and detoxification. Conventional, naturopathic, and Chinese medicine modalities should be skillfully blended to maximize treatment efficacy.

Daniel I Newman, M.D., N.D., M.S.O.M.
RISING HEALTH
Classical & Modern Medicine
www.drdanielnewman.com
Naturopathic Medicine 8301 NE Hazel Dell Ave.
Acupuncture P.O.B. 65759
Chinese Herbs Vancouver, WA 98665
Internal Medicine Board Certified TEL 360-696-3800
Pain Medicine Board Certified FAX 360-696-09067

Intoxication with Heavy Metal as a Possible Cause of Parkinson’s Disease

A neurologist recommended in the year 1998, that I should be medicated against my tremor, but I said no thank you to his offer, as I preferred to be better diagnosed before starting medication.

The following year my symptoms increased, as I became more rigid and my tremor got worse and I therefore was easy to persuade by a new neurologist to try anti-Parkinson medication. Shortly after, I was scanned for Parkinson’s disease and the result was compatible with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in the early stage.

Anti-Parkinson medication helped to decrease the symptoms, but soon I experienced more severe symptoms. At first I thought that it was the disease becoming more severe and this was confirmed by my neurologist who told me that it was unavoidable.

After one year on medication my neurologist recommended that I stopped medication before the next consultation. This became the start of a new phase in the way I coped with my disease, as without medication, I experienced that:-

–     The medication can result in abstinences when the medication is stopped.

–     Many of the symptoms, that I thought were Parkinson’s symptoms, were in reality side effects of the medication.

Therefore I decided to accept the symptoms of the disease instead of being burdened with adverse side effects of the medication. The outcome of this choice forced me to search for factors, which had influenced my symptoms.

In the year 2001 I was tested for Heavy Metal Toxicity in a private clinic in Aarhus, Denmark by Dr. Bruce Kyle (http://www.holistic-medicine.dk) and I was diagnosed with a combined toxic overload with mercury and copper.

I was treated at Dr. Bruce Kyle’s clinic with the Chelating Agent DMPS, with Vitamin-C infusions and different kinds of antioxidants and nutritional support. At the same time I had my amalgam fillings removed and had non-toxic, non-metal composites instead. This was done by a dentist with extra education in safe removal of amalgam. I also use saunas, which help detoxification by sweating out the toxins through my skin.

After some years of undergoing detoxifying treatments, I had fewer tremors and was less rigid, but I still suffered from fatigue. Allergic reaction against metals was suspect, and I undertook a MELISA-test.  (http://www.melisa.org)

My test showed an allergic reaction against gold, nickel and cadmium and treatment protocol was removal of a dental gold crown, which was replaced with plastic.  Now, I try to avoid nickel and to eat more organic food to avoid cadmium. Luckily I have been rewarded for my efforts as my fatigue has decreased.

Today I can honestly say that testing and treatments for my chronic cumulative toxicity has been successful for revealing some of the causes of my Parkinson’s disease. However, I still have slightly high levels of copper left and in Autumn 2006 and Spring 2008 tests show that I am also burdened with lead and aluminum.

I do not dare to think about how my life would have been without detoxifying treatments!  When I look at other patients with Parkinson’s disease who are getting worse, I have even more reasons to be thankful for my health, which continues to improve as time goes on.

Where do these Heavy Metals come from?

In my case, mercury and copper were likely to have come from my amalgam fillings. Copper-amalgam contains a high percentage of copper and I had many fillings in my milk teeth. Even later in school I had many cavities, which were restored with amalgam. The dentist said that I had weak teeth.

As an adult, I have only had one cavity, so I might think that my parents were not good at helping me with tooth brushing and perhaps also the school dentist has been tempted to do fillings, which were not necessary as she was paid for the amount of pupils’ cavities that she restored.

In addition I have in my job as a veterinarian, been exposed to many thermometers, which sometimes break and where the mercury ended up in the bottom of the car. Veterinarians were not properly informed that this could constitute a health hazard at that time.

Moreover Mercury can come from vaccinations containing the preservative Thiomersal (ethyl-mercury). Mercury might also come from environmental pollution and intake of fish. Copper might come from use of copper spiral (anti contraceptive) and from drinking water and food. The Danish Agriculture Production uses 200 tons of copper yearly and this copper could be assumed to spread to the environment and end up in drinking water and food.

When a person is burdened with mercury toxicity, then the excretion of copper is decreased.

My toxicity burden with lead might perhaps come from common environmental pollution. My toxicity with aluminum probably came from years of injections with aluminum containing products against dust mite allergy.

My nutrition today contains more antioxidants (nutrients which protects the body against free radicals and oxidation), more vegetables (raw vegetables are chosen) and more fruits.
I have stopped eating unhealthy fats such as margarine, hard fats, corn oil, soy, sunflower etc. I try to eat more of the healthy fats such as fat fish (salmon), linseed, olives oil, nuts etc.

I take antioxidants as nutritional supplementation, also a multivitamin mineral pill without iron and copper, extra vitamin C and E, Lipoic acid, N-acetyl-cysteine, Echinacea, Ginkgo Biloba and Coenzyme Q10. I also use DMSA for mercury, copper and lead chelation.

Concerning the nutrition I would recommend the book by Jean Carper – “Your Miracle Brain.”

Physical activity has been an important part of my life. At the beginning of my disease I walked without swinging my right arm and I stumbled rather often. After years training trying to walk normally with swinging my right arm, I have succeeded, but only when I am not too stressed or exhausted. The principle is like this, if I can walk one step with swinging the arm, then I can also walk 3 steps….. or also walk 5 minutes…or 5 kilometres and so on.

I also use visualization when training my movements.

People, who do not realize the effects that Parkinson’s disease has on their own body, often have problems understanding how demanding it is for a Parkinson patient to cope with conscious movements. Even something as banal as cleaning your shoes on a doormat is not necessarily functioning automatically but needs mental work, like steering a toy car with a joystick.

It is very common that a Parkinson patient with time develops a forward bending posture and some years ago I had thoracic Kyphosis and could not wear any of my shirts anymore. A physiotherapist has taught me some physical exercises, which I since have done every day.

Today my back is straight again, which makes me happy. People, who are happy, often have a straight posture, while sad and grieving people often have a crooked posture. By choosing body posture you can also indirectly choose your emotions.

I enjoy sending a signal that I am bubbling with joys of life.

I try to avoid, if possible, all kind of stress. Now I choose calm classical music instead of rock; I value tight relationships instead of having a circle of acquaintances with ‘small talk’ and I love being out in nature instead of taking city walks. It is a pleasure for me to do meditation and to sing.

I have also improved at listening to the signals from my body and I take care to rest and sleep when needed.  I have also improved at learning to avoid doing things, which I dislike and instead I do things that make me happy.

When being diagnosed with a chronic disease the patient often goes through a life crisis and so did I. The crises made me more religious and I learned to pray to my God from the bottom of my heart – this has given me spiritual power to cope with life and the new circumstances.

‘Where there is willpower, there is a way to go.’ This phrase was said about me by a good friend, as a way to express how I cope with my disease.

Years ago the neurologists said several times that I had got Parkinson’s disease and that this disease is chronic, impossible to cure and progressive. I thought that it might be like this for other patients, but that it would not be like this in my case. By working and studying a lot and sometimes by choosing blind paths, I have succeeded in finding a tiny little path out of my disease. Today I have fewer symptoms than in the year 1998, which means that the expression ‘progressive’ cannot be used generally about all patients with Parkinson’s disease.

I retired in the year 2001 when I was 44 years old and although it was really a hard time, today I feel that I have a good life. To my co-patients I will say:-  “Search for knowledge and keep on trying to search for new possibilities.”

Generally I recommend neurological patients to be tested with a chelating agent for chronic toxicity with heavy metals. If this is diagnosed, then it is possible to de-toxify, which can give hope to a future of increased health and decreased neurological symptoms.

If you want more information about toxicity with heavy metal and Parkinson’s disease then use the Internet.

Thank you for reading my case-story and I wish you all the best.

Hanne Koplev
Veterinarian

Parkinsons and Deep Brain Stimulation

Question:

I’m suffering from Parkinson since 97 & doctor has suggested DBS to be done. I find its very scary. Do you have any other option?

Rashmi

Response:

There are more than one hundred natural treatment options that have been reported to me that help people with the symptoms of Parkinsons get relief from their symptoms. Without any information about your particular situation, I do not know where to direct you. The variation in symptoms across persons with Parkinson’s is huge (which is why there are so many treatment options that have helped people).  

Take advantage of the information on the website (www.blog.parkinsonsrecovery.com). Listen
to my weekly radio program at 11:00 am pacific time Thursdays. I talk about one modality or another that have helped people. Begin to experiment with what calls out to you. The people who get the  best relief typically use a combination of therapies. 

What will help you may not help another person, so forge ahead with your own investigation. Make some initial decisions about where to start. If whatever you try does not help, try something else. Having now interviewed many people, I can assure you that you will find a set of therapies and/or treatments that will provide you with relief.

I will be sure and put Deep Brain Stimulation on my list of topics to address on my weekly radio program.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com

Problem Walking?

Question:

My Parkinson has been hovering for months now.  I have rather rapidly had to have help walking.    So now my devoted wife Liz has to get me started by the old Army method “hut one hut two.”
 
I do have an appointment Feb. 19 with my neurologist.  He has had the medicines I’ve been taking gradually phased out. Then on Feb. 19 he will introduce my system to a new and different drug which has some notable success.

My problem is how do I stand (e.g. survive) till then?  Sinemet is what I have to rely on till then.  (A urologist has me on two drugs to confine urology problems.  So far this seems to be satisfactory)

I will appreciate your suggested road to nirvana.  My wonderful wife is 81 years old and in July I will catch her.

Response:
I have several suggestions for you to consider, though I am not absolutely clear what symptom precisely you want help with. I understand walking is a problem, so let me focus on that symptom.
 
Suggestion Set One:
Do you have a tennis ball or a rubber ball of any type? When you walk, bounce the ball just like you did when you were a boy, Bounce the ball on the ground as you walk. If that doesn’t help – throw it into the air as you walk. 

There is also a plastic ball which you find at fairs which has a rubbery string or chain that is attached to the ball itself. You put the rubbery string around your hand and throw the ball toward the ground as you walk (though the ball does not touch the ground). It is great fun – and it helps mobility greatly. (This brilliant suggestions is inspired by Hans from Holland.) Instead of walking with a cane or walker (where people perceive there is an old person attempting to walk) you are bouncing a ball like a child (so people perceive a youthful energy – and so do you!). 

 

Play music while you walk and your mobility will improve. Listen with an ipod. Your wife is helping you with the music of her marching orders, but she can’t sing every step you walk (unless she has tireless vocal cords). Listening to music while you walk is also a great help, especially music that has a beat to it. 
 
Suggestion Set Two:
Nitendo Wii. Ever heard of it? Young people know about it. You play games like tennis which require you to exercise your balance. Buy a wii game and try it out. You can always purchase it on a 30 day warranty so if it doesn’t work for you, just return it. Play a game (whatever you are called to play) every day, Have fun. Watch your mobility improve. 
 
Suggestion Set Three:
Natural herbs can be a huge benefit for the problem you describe. I will be posting an interview with a herbalist next week (Andrew Bentley) which you should find intriguing. Andrew discusses various natural herbs which are very helpful for the problem you describe. He gets great results helping peopkle with parkinsons using herbs I have never heard about before. Membership costs a token $1 for the first 30 days. Check out the interview to be posted next week. The signup page is:
 
 
Hopefully, three times is a charm and one of these ideas will be a winner for you,
 
All the best,
 
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery 
© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery
   

Parkinson’s Medication, Treatment and Recovery

Questions:

I would like to know more about the recovery program.

What products are available though your organization?

Do you recommend Zandopa? What homeopathic products can / should one use? I am considering the membership, but I am not so sure how beneficial it is. Your-e-mails are excellent, I love to read them. I live in Canada BC and I might not have access to any clinic which is similar than yours.

I really believe that my body can heal itself if I give it a chance – right support.

Response:

Thanks for your email inquiring about Parkinsons Recovery. As for membership, I recommend that you visit the website daily for a month and just see if the visits are helpful. 

 Logon to the website here:

 http://www.member.parkinsonsrecovery.com/amember/login.php

username: recover
password: ready

Information is updated daily. The idea is that recovery is a process, so when you visit the website every day, you are setting the intention to get well. 

Parkinsons Recovery products are listed on the member website. Click on the picture of books. I am always adding new products every month. I just released a series of meditations which you can also hear on the member website by clicking on the meditation icons once you land on the member web site.

As for recommendations of medications, I have to roll over dead so to speak. I am not a medical doctor and so am not qualified to speak to that specific question. Rather, I am a researcher and can tell you a lot about what people do to get great relief from their symptoms. 

Be sure to read the side effects of any medications you take. Often what you may think are the symptoms of Parkinsons are actually the side effects of medications you are taking. That news is a relief to many people!

I am so happy to hear you find my newsletters helpful. Be sure to listen to the interviews and the teleseminars this month. Some awesome information is coming through. 

I do know that recovery requires patience and commitment. It happens for people who are determined to make it happen. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D. 
Parkinsons Recovery     
www.parkinsonsrecovery.com