Category Archives: Dopamine

How to Get a 250% Dopamine Boost

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Robert Rodgers PhD
Founder 2004
Parkinsons Recovery
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s Disease and Dopamine

I have a Parkinson’s Disease and dopamine related question:  First, I was astounded to read that only 1/3 of PD autopsies indicated degeneration of the substantia nigra.  There is no history of PD in my family, so I immediately thought I could well be one of the misdiagnosed 2/3 -even though I underwent the full battery of tests to rule out other possible problems.

My specific question for you is about the efficacy of PD drugs as an indicator.  I believe I was told at the onset that if the PD medication controls my symptoms, then I indeed have PD.  If PD medication does nothing, I may only have Parkinsonism.  What is your opinion?

Without knowing the science behind this, I still believe miracles big and small happen every day, and I don’t believe PD is a permanent fixture in my life. Last month I proved to myself that attitude is everything: Reflecting back, I realized that I felt much worse on July 29, 2009 than I did on July 27, 2009.  Nothing had changed except that I was told I may have PD.  So, early last month, I decided to host a festive funeral for my PD, complete with a decorative shovel and a champagne toast.  I have felt more capable and optimistic ever since!  My symptoms are still present, but I know I already buried my PD, so it can’t be that!

In closing, I simply want to thank you for your precious work and the hope and optimism left in its wake.

Best Regards,


Response to Parkinsons Disease Question:

What an amazing report! You are indeed on the road to recovery. There is certainly no question that our thoughts are the most powerful force on earth. If we think we are sick, we remain sick. If we think we are well, we become well. If we think we are on the road to recovery, we feel better and better over time. If we feel all the dopamine producing cells in our body are dead, we give up and reserve a bed in our neighborhood nursing home.

My research reveals that there is badly mistaken thinking about Parkinsons (which will soon be archaic my work and others spreads like wildfire). Here is the mistaken logic:

The body has a given number of cells that produce dopamine. In some people – these cells begin to die off like soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

By the time 80% are of these dopamine cells are dead the person has neurological symptoms that are destined to get worse and worse over time. They are diagnosed with a condition known as Parkinson’s Disease. The only hope is to fill this sadly malfunctioning body with dopamine because it is not capable of producing dopamine on its own.

This simplistic view does not match with my observations as a researcher. Why? I have interviewed hundreds and hundreds of persons with Parkinson’s. Some of the interviews have been aired on my radio show. People tell me the same story over and over but the details differ here and there. Here is a prototype of the story I hear everyday.

I loved to play ping pong when I was young. I gave it up years ago because I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease One day – don’t ask me why – I decided to try and play ping pong again. Why not after all. It is a degenerative condition right?

Once I put the paddle in my hand and started playing all of my symptoms vanished. I could play as well as when I was 20 years old. No one could tell I had Parkinsons if they were watching me play. When I stop playing the symptoms return.

In the report above I used the word ping pong. You can substitute dozens of other activities; e.g. – kick boxing, painting, singing, woodworking, tennis. martial arts. The list is endless.

Now I ask you and all others reading this now: How could the body return to a state of balance and harmony and be producing all the dopamine needed to maintain a steady hand to play ping pong and move seeminglessly if 80% of the dopamine producing cells in the body were dead? Duh – Of course it could not.

Of course – a small percentage of persons do have a deterioration of dopamine producing cells.  Me research reveals that most people do not.

Why is it you ask when dopamine producing medicine is given symptoms are controlled in the short run? The problem is not a dopamine production problem. It is an access problem. The body is not able to activate the pathways necessary to produce dopamine because the pathways needed by the body to manufacture dopamine are obstructed for one reason or another.

Instead of giving a scientific explanation permit me to explain the problem the body confronts by way of an analogy.

Imagine if you will that you and I are traveling down main street in Olympia, Washington to play ping pong at the YMCA.  We encounter an unexpected road block and cannot get through town. The road is closed. We peek ahead and see that there is an accident involving two cars that are badly twisted.

The road we are traveling on on is analogous to one of our many neural pathways. The blockage we confront is a trauma that we have experienced in our life or a toxin or a bacteria that has invaded our body. The body physically contorts inside when confronted with any of these three obstacles (i.e. – trauma, toxins or bacteria). Unless we set our intention to remove the obstacles,  the blockage will remain though we may be able to pass partially push our way through the blockage. Or, we can always take a detour which unfortunately creates an uncomfortable twist in the pathway.

We take our detour and run into another road block. This time there is slippery gunk on the road way – toxins that have spilled from a gas truck that overturned. These are analogous to the toxins in our body that are making it impossible for the delicate signaling system to function in our neurological system.

We turn the car off to wait, then decide to turn the car back on and take another detour. Oops – the car will not start because the alternator is broken. Sometimes genes that are critical to the function of the hormonal system are shut down, genes like COMP. If that turns out to be the case, you simply have to wake the sleepy genes up.

Some people falsely belief that if a gene is “defective” you might as well pack your suitcase and head for your neighborhood nursing home now because there is no hope. That idea too will be seen as middle ages thinking as the ability of the body to repair genes is better understood.

We got lucky and find ourselves stuck next to a repair garage and are lucky to get a replacement alternator for the car in 15 minutes. We start her up again, turn around and take another detour. A mile down the road we confront a mother hen and her 12 chicks crossing the road. Unfortunately, they are not interested in reaching the other side. Rather, they have a dedicated preference to hang out in the middle of the road, blocking our ability to pass.

A hen and her chicks on our journey to the ping pong courts is a symbol of all the critters in our body that can obstruct the pathways the body needs to access to produce dopamine. Which critters? The list includes among others bacteria, viruses and fungus in the form of candida. These critters are living entities in our body that a conscious of their own.

If we do not find a way to invite them to leave the roadway (and our body) the neural pathways in our body will be littered with obstructions.

Once we arrive at our destination at the ping pong courts our bodies relax. Stress dissolves. We are finally ready to have some fun. Our bodies are finally able to relax from the our series of roadblocks on our journey to the ping pong courts. The same type of obstructions occur over flashes of time as neurological signalling is sent and  received.

What does it really mean when dopamine supplements are given to a person who confronts one or more of the roadblocks above? Some people do feel better. The good news is that they can function normally sometimes for years.  But the problems that are causing the symptoms are not addressed with dopamine supplements.

Dopamine does not heal the trauma. It continues to linger. Dopamine does not release the toxins. They too still hide out in the crevices of our body. And, dopamine does not kill the harmful bacteria in the body. They too continue to thrive inside the body (where it is warm and cozy) and not outside (where it is cold and dangerous).

Supplementation of dopamine (whether through medications or supplements) overrides the normal operating system used by the body to manufacture and access dopamine.

To clarify – the ping pong courts were sitting there waiting for us to use them. We just discovered that access was obstructed by an accident (trauma), an oil spill (toxins) and the chickens hanging out in the road war (critters). We are lucky if we get to play ping pong because all of our symptoms dissolve when we do.

If instead we get so frustrated with all the road blocks, we may simply give up our plan to play ping pong. It is just too difficult to get there. (Note – this is what happens to so many people who give up the activities they enjoy so passionately.)

We may decide instead to stop at the bakery and have dessert full of sugar and genetically modified wheat.  When we arrive back home, we feel horrible and have to go to bed,

The problem in summary is not a dopamine deficiency. It is a problem of access to dopamine. Help the body with the access problem and the symptoms will fade away into the sunset.

Robert Rodgers, PhD.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease 


Natural Dopamine Supplements

One approach for reversing symptoms of Parkinsons is to provide boosts of dopamine whether through natural dopamine supplements or through prescription medications. Most people are familiar with prescription medications such as Sinemet that rely on this approach. Prescription medications work beautifully for some people. Others cannot tolerate the side effects. What options are available for such persons?

Aunt Bean explains in this video how fermented papaya is one among other natural dopamine supplements which has helped enormously with providing relief from the troubling symptoms of Parkinsons disease she has experienced.

[flashvideo filename=videos/whypapaya.flv image=videos/whypapaya.jpg /]

Aunt Bean provides a detailed demonstrated of how she prepares papaya in a video I posted on the Parkinsons Recovery Fava Bean Website which features her discoveries about natural sources of dopamine from certain foods. I invite you to also preview the video on preparing papaya and other videos which cover fava beans on the fava bean website. I took the videos of Aunt Bean at her fabulous fava bean festival in June, 2012.

Robert Rodgers. Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery

Is My Dopamine System Becoming More Stable?

I was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and would like to know the following: How can I tell if my dopamine system is becoming more stable? I am taking L Dopa (natural). It is made from the dopa bean.

My motivation level is ssoo low and the fatigue keeps me from being positive – but I am on the the road to recovery with my best cheer leader (God).

Thanks for all your wisdom



I am sure you are eagerly awaiting an answer to your very specific question. The technical answer is that even if your dopamine levels are “stable” you may still feel lousy. “Stable” may convert to a level that is so depleted that your body engine is running on very little oil.

The analogy I would like to suggest is to equate dopamine with oil in a car and your energy with gas in a car. I admit this is a crude analogy, but it helps me make the point I want to make here. You report that you have very low motivation and high fatigue. It was probably even a challenge to write in this question today.

The translation I would like to make is that you are running low on gas. Your tank is almost empty. Now as we all know, once the gas tank in a car is empty the car stops. The same outcome holds true for the body.

Our cells need fuel to function. I would speculate that you are probably not giving your body the fuel it needs to rejuvenate and revitalize itself. I am in the process of writing up the next Parkinsons Recovery newsletter which will address the issue of giving our body the
fuel that it needs to function  and reverse the symptoms you describe in your question. Be sure to sign up for the free newsletter so you can catch that email. I am not quite done with the writing,  so please be patient.

I recommend that you begin thinking about your current health challenge in a different way. Dopamine is  one of 40 different hormones in the body.  If is a formidable challenge to maintain the delicate balance that is needed across all 40 hormones. Only the body knows how to manage this incredibly complicated task.

I assure you that your body is not focusing its attention exclusively on dopamine. It has three or so other dozen hormones to monitor. Why not just step back and realize that your body needs a little extra support in the form of nutrients to do the work it well knows how to do?

Your body really does know how to heal itself. All you need to do is to trust that your body is qualified to do the job that is needed as long as it has the  fuel (the gas) that is required to fire up your energy and jump start your journey on the road to recovery.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery

Voice Analysis Reveals a Groundbreaking Discovery about Dopamine and PD

Everyone who attends the Parkinsons Recovery Summit March 7th will have the opportunity to get a voice analysis done which will reveal a comprehensive view of the sources of imbalances in your  body.What is a voice analysis and how can it help you get well?

Listen to my radio show this week with Sharry Edwards who has been working with bioacoustic technology for 30 years. Her approach for analyzing the harmonics of the voice makes it possible to ascertain many levels/layers of causality that conventional medicine has not been able to discern.

The good news does not stop here. Sharry Edwards has now had a chance to analyze the vocal matrix frequencies of the four volunteers from the Parkinsons Recovery Radio from last month’s show who volunteered to have their voice frequencies analyzed.

Her analysis showed that one particular element of the dopamine biochemical cascade came forth as the clear pivotal protein for activating dopamine. I believe her  preliminary findings will fast forward research light years ahead.

You can hear Sharry discuss her findings by connecting to her live presentation at 3 pm pacific time (6 pm eastern time) Wednesday, February 23rd. You can also get any and all questions answered  by connecting to the presentation through your computer. And, you may be able to see the actual results of an analysis done on your own voice.

The invitation from Sound Health follows.

Topic: Sharry on Parkinsons Recovery
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Time: 6:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Meeting Number: 739 538 595
(Note – this is not a telephone number –
You must access the presentation through
your computer, not your telephone).

Meeting Password: test
To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!)
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: test
4. Click “Join”.

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:
For assistance
1. Go to
2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”.

Informational contact:

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Dopamine Producing Cells


My husband and I receive your newsletter and listen to many of your radio interviews. I am encouraged by your message of working toward recovery. I do have one question, and it deals with physiology.

Conventional medicine explains the symptoms by stating that the dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra are dying, and this is irreversible. Do you think the cells are dying but this state is reversible? Or do you question the whole idea of the cells dying? If PD is simply a collection of symptoms, what causes the symptoms?

We are working hard toward recovery, although the path is discouraging right now.


Don and Dianne


You ask if I question the idea that cells are dying. I have no doubt but that cells are dying throughout the body every second of our life. It is the sweet nature of life as it is sustained by the awakening of new cells and the death of cells whose time has come.

Do cells in the Substantia Nigra die? Of course they do, just as the cells in my right big toe. I say,

Out with the old and in with the new.

The process of old cells dying and new cells emerging gives life juice and power. It we hang onto the old, our life force withers away.

You ask if the state of illness is reversible? My answer unequivocally is yes. There are beliefs that typically drag us down into the sewer of depression and illness. Once those beliefs are transformed, recovery becomes possible as long as the physical body is given the support it needs to heal.

You ask what causes the symptoms? I write quite a bit about this subject in my new book I just released this week, Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease. There are a number of interrelated factors that contribute to the symptoms including trauma, stress, toxins, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and a digestive system that has shut down.

Here is what I think. There is no single therapy or approach that can offer the promise of  full recovery. Parkinson’s is one of the most complex conditions that can exist in the body. It takes a multifaceted approach to heal.

A deficiency of dopamine plays a minor role in what is happening within the various systems of the body. I can assure you it is not the central character in this drama. I suggest you step back and begin thinking in a much larger and broader context.

It sounds like you have launched a path on the road to recovery. Take action on whatever therapies or approaches that call to you. A little experimentation will go a long way in helping you figure out what you need to do for yourself to recover.

It is very easy to get discouraged, since the road to recovery tends to have quite a few curves and unexpected twists. When you get discouraged, as is the case today, just acknowledge the thought and whisk it away for it is not serving your best and highest good.

I have a concluding thought for you. You mention you are working “hard” toward recovery.  It certainly does take an unwavering commitment, but if the work is “hard” it may actually be stressful, provoking symptoms. Perhaps the thought form could be transformed by the mantra:

‘We are having fun as we travel down the road to recovery. Every day reveals exciting new discoveries that feed our souls, our bodies and our minds.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery


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Stop Parkin’ and Start Livin’

Dopamine and Parkinson’s Disease


You do not believe that Parkinson’s is a disease!!!!!

Do you not believe that there is physical damage to the part of the brain that produces Dopamine?

Do you not believe that the damage has been verified by examining brain tissue from deceased Parkinson’s patients?

“The body is not broken. The body is not diseased. It is simply out of balance”

Is the brain not part of the body? Is the brain just “out of balance”?



Thanks so much for your e mail and your question. I know many people think the same way you think.

I am not a medical doctor. I am a researcher. I find that the Road to Recovery involves examining our thinking about “disease.” – any disease. In this case of course it is Parkinson’s Disease. If we focus on the “disease,” we are holding very negative thoughts about what is happening by thinking:

“My body is broken.”

Since thoughts can manifest anything our heart desires, holding this thought will insure that our body will forever remain broken.

What percent of the body is “broken” in the case of Parkinson’s? I assure you that answer varies widely across persons. My hunch is that a tiny proportion of cells are problematic: perhaps 1%; maybe 3% for some people. At least 97% of the cells are working perfectly. I would say that is close enough for me to say that the body is working perfectly. Speaking for myself, I get much more energy by focusing on what is working than what is not working.

You say that damage has been verified by autopsies. This is certainly true, but only in a minority of autopsies. For a majority of autopsies, they find no substantia nigra damage. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research on the matter. I have been surprised myself to see how low the percent actually is.

My point is that you are holding the belief that cells in your brain are dead. It may be the case that a tiny fraction of cells in your brain are dead,  but cells are dying throughout the body all the  time.  It is the natural process of life and death.

It is also possible you are one of the majority where there is no damage to your substantia nigra. There is no way to tell without an autopsy.

A third of the people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s are misdiagnosed. It happens. There is no definitive test for it. Perhaps you are one of the one third who have been misdiagnosed? There are certainly many possible causes for the symptoms. For example – perhaps toxins are the culprit and not cell damage in the substantia nigra.

Let’s say all of these speculations are wrong and that yes, you do have neural damage in the substantia nigra and that yes, you do have Parkinson’s Disease.

New cells can be created anywhere in the body anytime. If you happen to have an overabundance of dead cells in the substantia nigra for the moment, you can set your intention to grow new ones. If the body can make new cells, I would say it is working perfectly.

Here is the rub: If you focus on the dead cells (assuming they even exist) you are assuring that new cells will not be created. Your  thoughts are centered in a negative sphere. If you focus on the reality that your body can heal itself, it will heal itself.

This is what I have learned from my research. At the core of  all healing are our thought forms. If you think your body is broken I can assure you it will remain “broken” and become more “broken.” If you believe your body can heal itself, new cells will be born, hormones will be balanced, and your body will return to health and wellness.

The most powerful force in the universe are thoughts. When we change how we think, we change the course of our lives. This is what motivated me to write The Five Steps to Recovery which is all about how to transform our thoughts.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

Parkinsons Disease and Dopamine


With respect to your nutrition supplements of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, how do they help any further since the brain cells in the substantia nigra are already destroyed which has caused the Parkinson’s disease?



Many people believe that the symptoms of Parkinsons are caused by the death of brain cells that do not produce dopamine. As I feel into this thought form, it carries me into the pit of depression. If there are no more cells to produce dopamine, then no more dopamine will be produced. I personally can not access any hope here!

This belief is clearly not the foundation of recovery. This belief is also blatantly false. First, the body has the capacity to make all the new cells we need. If there is a deficiency in the cells that produce dopamine, it is because there is no demand to produce dopamine for one reason or another. The body may be currently suspended in a perpetual state of fear. In this case, the body will be producing adrenaline and all the other stress related hormones. There may be little demand to manufacture dopamine.

Second, there are over 40 hormones in the body that must be balanced delicately balanced in any given moment. Dopamine is one of these hormones. Focus attention on creating hormonal balance throughout the body and all systems in the body will return to health and wellness.

It is more healing to acknowledge that the body is working perfectly. It may be presently out of balance as indicated by the presentation of specific symptoms.

My thinking is that it gets us no where to hold the thought that something is wrong with our bodies that must be fixed. In this case, the belief is that all the cells needed to produce dopamine are dead.

If there is the demand to produce dopamine, the body will make the cells necessary to produce it. The body is working perfectly. It just sends us signals from time to time (as in the case of neurological challenges) which indicate an imbalance that needs to be corrected. It is possible a source of the imbalance comes from specific vitamin or mineral deficiences like B6 and B12 which help the body cope with stress and trauma. Many deficiencies can be the cause of imbalances. These are only two possibilities.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery


Vicious Cycles of Parkinson’s Symptoms

People with Parkinson’s can be trapped into a vicious cycle of escalating symptoms. Here is how the process unfolds.

Symptoms tend to creep up gradually. Little signs pop up here and there – a twitch here or a muscle cramp there. Signs are ignored or dismissed as being minor annoyances. Symptoms gradually become more persistent.

A search is launched for therapies that  have the potential to provide relief. The search for relief in itself is stressful. Stress from the search inflames symptoms further. A diagnosis is made which hammers away at the idea that recovery is no longer possible.

The person begins to believe that recovery will never be possible. Since our thoughts affect our health, the next step is obvious.

Other more troubling symptoms emerge. Movement becomes more challenging. Exercise becomes painful.  Movement becomes more limited. Without physical exercise symptoms are destined to get worse.

Every day tasks become much more challenging . Hope of recovery begins to hang on a very thin thread.

The problem I have thus been working on is this: How can this vicious cycle be reversed? My answer is simple.

If you can’t exercise your body, you can always exercise your mind. Why not build new neural networks without lifting a finger?

Simply put, you do not have to exercise your body to get the benefits of exercise. Research suggests that you can actually get two thirds of the benefits of physical exercise by exercising your mind (without lifting a finger).

Isn’t that a cool idea? I think so.

We can exercise our mind through memory exercises and guided visualizations. This forms new neural networks. Memory exercises facilitate the body’s ability to make dopamine. As the symptoms subside,  physical exercise becomes a viable option.

Presto. You are back on the road to recovery.

I call this approach recovery “Mindwork.”  Memory exercises and guided visualizations are being posted on the Parkinsons Recovery member website every week now.  I am asking everyone who is participating in the Mindwork exercises to track their symptoms so we can all get an idea of how the recovery process unfolds when the mind is used as a form of exercise.

The good news is that Mindwork is fun, non intrusive and safe. The only side effects are improved health on some level.

© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery

Dopamine Levels and Amino Acid Therapy


Are you familiar with and the
neurotransmitter protocols recommended by Dr. Marty Hinz?
If so, what is your experience with people who have tried
these methods?



Yes, I am very familiar with his work and find his approach
to be intuitively fascinating. The treatment emphasis with Marty
Hinz’s approach uses amino acid therapy. It is novel
approach used in clinics throughout the US for addressing the
symptoms of Parkinson’s. Nothing in itself “cures,” but
amino acid therapy appears to be helping people.  

Levodopa raises the level of dopamine sky high relative to the
level of serotonin in the body. When a person who takes Levodopa
eats protein, they ingest tirosines.  Tirosines increase dopamine.

The key to health is to maintain the proper balance between
serotonin and dopamine. Pumping more dopamine into the body
can create a persistent imbalance that aggravates the
symptoms. Amino acid therapy appears helps to balance the

I have planned interviews with the doctors using this approach
with Parkinson’s patients, so we will all know more about
his therapy in the new future.

I invite anyone with personal experiences using the clinic’s
protocol to tell us more about your experience  by posting
a comment here.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery